Pope Francis today had lively chat with several disabled children from around the world. The Holy Father, who spoke with the children via Google Hangout, was sponsored by Scholas Occurrentes. The initiative took place on the final day of the organization’s World Educational Congress held at the Vatican.
The children participating came from countries such as Spain, Brazil, Argentina, the United States, and India.
16 year old Alicia, a young girl with Down syndrome from Spain, proudly showed the Pope a video camera she uses in her film class and spoke about her passion for filmmaking. “It really is so much fun,” she said, causing the Pope to happily laugh.
After a few moments of conversation, Alicia took the opportunity to ask him a personal question: “Do you like taking pictures and uploading them onto your computer?”
The Pope smiled and answered: “Do you want me to tell you the truth? I am clumsy with computers; I don’t know how to use a computer. How embarrassing, right?”
Juan Bautista, a 14 year old autistic boy from Buenos Aires, told the Pope how he uses his tablet to learn new languages and play games. Forming the shape of a heart with his hands, he told the Holy Father that he would like to visit him in Rome one day. After the Pope thanked him for his words, the young boy asked the Pope: “Do you have a tablet?” The Holy Father laughed and replied, “No, I don’t have one.”
Isaiah Bower, who along with his classmate Taylor, hailed from Nebraska, USA. Isaiah explained to the Holy Father how the educational program is helping him to develop his motor skills. He then asked what the Pope does when facing a difficult situation.
“First, to not get angry, there is no need to get angry; be calm. Then, look for a way to overcome it, to surpass it,” the Pope said. “And if I cannot surpass it, then I must withstand it until the ability to surpass it comes along. There is no need to be afraid of difficulties, ever. We are capable of overcoming them all. We only need time to understand them, the intelligence to look for the right path, and the courage to move forward. But never be afraid.”
In his final address to the youth before signing off, the Holy Father reminded them of the treasure they each have inside. Comparing them to a treasure chest, the 78 year old Pontiff told them that it can only grow once it is shared with others.
“What I want to tell you is to not hide the treasure that each one of you have,” he said. Sometimes, they are found immediately, sometimes we have to play the game of treasure hunters, it’s not found immediately. But once you have found it, share it because by sharing, you receive from others and it multiplies.
Pope Francis concluded saying: “That’s what I wanted to tell you kids. Go forward! What you do, in the place that you’re in, helps all of us to understand that life is a beautiful treasure but it only has meaning if we give it.”