Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Thursday 25 April |
The Feast of Saint Mark
Aleteia logo
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Pope encourages “sowers of smiles,” saying they proclaim the Gospel bringing joy

girl smiling carousel

ANNA GRANT | Shutterstock

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 03/21/23

He lauds fairground workers for bringing the type of joy that comes from simplicity, the open air, and being in company with others.

Pope Francis had a light-hearted, encouraging meeting with members of the national union of traveling fairground workers, praising their vocation of sowing joy, reminding people that the path to happiness is “simplicity.”

The audience began with a joyous rendition of “Happy birthday” for an 80-year-old nun, in which the Pope joined in, then pointing her out: “There she is, look! How sweet!”

The Pope then expressed his contentment that after the pandemic, the fair ground workers are now able to resume “traveling from square to square with your attractions” and said that the “Church continues to accompany you, proclaiming to you Christ the Savior, who travelled through cities and villages bringing the joyful news of the Kingdom of God to everyone.”

He noted how the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium begins thus: “The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus” (1).

and said these workers “cooperate in a broad sense to the proclamation of the Gospel”

You are sowers of joy, do not forget this! And at times, you sow joy in moments when the heart is not joyful, it is heavy with problems… But you sow, your vocation is to disseminate joy.

He encouraged them to stay open to the encounter with Jesus, who is present and active in the Church, and “in every one of the people you make laugh. Which is one of the beautiful things: sowers of smiles! It is beautiful!”

As they ride on the merry-go-rounds in towns and cities, you offer children and adults carefree moments, distracting them a little from the worries that assail daily life. The happiness of a child on a merry-go-round is an image of wholesome joy that is part of the memory of every family.

The sense of joy and celebration that you spread springs from creativity and fantasy; it does not replicate the artificial and conformist models that circulate in the media; it is nurtured not by the search for ever new sensations, but from the simplicity and authenticity one experiences in a fairground.

The Pope encouraged them: “In a world where we often breathe in a grey and heavy atmosphere, you remind us that the path to being happy is simplicity; and also from entertainment in the open air and in company, the opposite of what we increasingly see today, each person alone with a smartphone or computer, which isolates you from social communication.”

You invite us to go out, to meet in the square, to have fun together. I appreciate you for this. And I thank you because, in the end, you remind us that we are not made only for work, but also for leisure, and God is happy when we celebrate together as brothers and sisters, in simplicity. And your vocation is to laugh and make people smile. At times the heart is sad, but the vocation leads you to bring smiles to others, smiles that make them laugh. And this is good: spreading smiles, spreading joy, spreading peace, spreading a more positive outlook than the one people are experiencing at the time. Keep going, with joy…

I commend you to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, “Mother of Travellers,” a sure guide who leads to Jesus. And may your patron Saint John Bosco and the Servant of God Don Dino Torreggiani, the apostle of caravans, also support you.

Pope Francis
Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.