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Francis asks artists to”make people dream” and aspire to “a life of plenitude”



I.Media - published on 02/15/24

Speaking to “Diakonia of Beauty,” Pope Francis evoked the suffering of artists and their great mission to share the beauty of nature and promote contemplation.

“The life of an artist is often filled […] with great inner suffering,” Pope Francis said as he received the “Diakonia of Beauty” on February 15, 2024, at the Vatican. The occasion was the 10th anniversary of the “festivals” of this movement founded in France.

Addressing the delegation of artists, the Argentine pontiff praised in particular the initiative of the “artists’ houses” that the Diakonia has opened in Nantes, Lourdes, and on the island of La Réunion. This mission “contributes to the valorization and dignity of the artist, who no longer feels rejected, misunderstood, marginalized, and excluded,” the Pope emphasized. And he expressed his concern for artists, whose life is “often filled with solitude, depression and great inner suffering.”

Make people dream

The 266th pope then encouraged them to “bring out the beauty that lies hidden” in artists, to “awaken in them the quest for truth,” and to promote “contemplation.” “Art is a very powerful means of conveying the message of the beauty of nature,” he also slipped in, mentioning today’s “great climate crises.”

“Make people dream, let them aspire to a life of plenitude!” the pontiff challenged, evoking humanity’s “thirst for happiness” shaken by “wars, social crises.” He also expressed the hope that artists would be able to “renew a fruitful dialogue with the Church.” 

“Diakonia of Beauty” was launched in October 2012 in the wake of the Synod on the New Evangelization. Members of this movement — musicians, poets, painters, architects, filmmakers, sculptors, actors and dancers — meet in fraternity to pray and organize artistic activities. Among them, until his death in 2020, was actor Michael Lonsdale, known to English-speaking audiences for his role as a James Bond villain (among other roles).

The Diakonia meeting in Rome, from February 14 to 17, is being chaired by Cardinal Poupard, 93, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture. Robert Le Gall, archbishop emeritus of Toulouse, is also present at the symposium, which this year features singer Hugues Aufray. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the “Sacred Festivals of Beauty,” which kicked off in Cannes in 2014 during the International Film Festival.

ArtPope FrancisVatican
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