The Pontiff chatted with participants and staff, encouraging them to cultivate gratitude and appreciation of parents and their family superhero, grandparents.
This morning, July 18, 2023, Pope Francis visited the Vatican summer day camp, which welcomes children ages 5-13 of employees of the small state. Matteo Bruni, the director of the Holy See Press Office, described the visit in a press release.
From July 3 to August 4, “Summer for Kids at the Vatican” is offering sports and educational activities on the theme of fraternity, inspired by the encyclical Fratelli tutti.
Accompanied by the program’s director, Salesian priest Franco Fontana, the Pope arrived at around 9 a.m. He chatted with the young people and children, urging them particularly to cultivate gratitude toward their parents, according to the press release.
The Pontiff also stressed the value of grandparents, “superheroes” who “have formed a family, who have wisdom,” he said. He also urged young people to develop a healthy relationship with the digital world.
Finally, the Pope invited the staff to maintain the inner restlessness that drives them to serve others. During these days, they lead the children in activities including dance, team games, artistic workshops, and shows, according to the summer day camp’s website.
The 86-year-old Pontiff, who is following a more relaxed schedule throughout July, (and the temperatures have been over 100), continues nonetheless to receive groups on a regular basis. On July 17, he welcomed 150 young pilgrims from Poland. The day before, on July 16, he met young people from the Archdiocese of Córdoba, Argentina, en route to the WYD in Lisbon. On July 5, the Pope received former US President Bill Clinton.