Copyright: Vatican Media

‘Each One Is Beautiful to God’ – Pope Francis Receives Autistic Little Ones

Expressing How Much God Loves Them, Francis Tells Children: ‘I Am Happy to See Your Faces & I Can Read in Your Eyes You Are Happy to Be With Me Too’

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Each one is beautiful to God who loves us…

Pope Francis said this to autistic little ones in the Vatican today, Sept. 21, 2020.

According to Vatican News, the Holy Father welcomed 42 individuals from the Austrian Ambulatorium Sonnenschein Center for Autism, including children with ASD,  their parents and the staff. According to Vatican News, the children undergo therapy at Ambulatorium Sonnenschein or the Sunshine Outpatient Clinic, which was established in 1995.

Each Beautiful to God, Who Loves You

“I welcome you here in the Vatican,” Francis said, expressing: “I am happy to see your faces, and I read in your eyes that you are also happy to be a while with me.”

Your House is called Sonnenschein, that is, “Sunshine.”

“I can imagine why those in charge chose this name,” he recognized, “because your House seems a magnificent flowery meadow in the sunshine and, in fact, you are the flowers of this House! God created the world with a great variety of flowers of all colors. Every flower has its beauty, which is unique.”

“Also each one of us is beautiful in God’s eyes, and He loves us.”

Let’s say ‘Thank You’ to God

This, he underscored, makes us feel “the need to say thank you to God! Thank you for the gift of life, for all creatures! Thank you for Mommy and Daddy! Thank you for our families! And thank you also for the friends of the Sonnenschein Center!”

Saying thank you to God, the Pope said, is a beautiful prayer.

“God likes this way of praying. Then you can also add a small question. For example: Good Jesus, can You help Mommy and Daddy in their work? Can You give some comfort to Grandma who is sick? Can You provide for all the children of the world that have nothing to eat? Or, Jesus, I ask You to help the Pope to guide the Church well. If you ask with faith, the Lord certainly listens to you.”

To parents, all you did for these little ones, you did for Jesus

Pope Francis also offered heartfelt words of thanks parents, to the accompaniers, to the Lady President of the Region and to all those present. “Thank you for this beautiful initiative and for the commitment to the little ones entrusted to you,” he said.

“All that you did to just one of these littlest ones, you did for Jesus!” he said.

Pope Francis concluded, assuring: “I remember you in my prayer.”

“May Jesus bless you always and Our Lady protect you,” he prayed.

Here is a ZENIT translation of the Pope’s greeting to those present at the audience.

* * *

The Holy Father’s Address

Dear Children, Dear Parents,

Excellencies, Gentlemen and Ladies!

I welcome you here in the Vatican. I am happy to see your faces, and I read in your eyes that you are also happy to be a while with me.

Your House is called Sonnenschein, that is, “Sunshine.” I can imagine why those in charge chose this name, because your House seems a magnificent flowery meadow in the Sunshine and, in fact, you are the flowers of this House! God created the world with a great variety of flowers of all colors. Every flower has its beauty, which is unique. Also each one of us is beautiful in God’s eyes, and He loves us. This makes us feel the need to say thank you to God! Thank you for the gift of life, for all creatures! Thank you for Mommy and Daddy! Thank you for our families! And thank you also for the friends of the Sonnenschein Center!

Saying thank you to God is a beautiful prayer. God likes this way of praying. Then you can also add a small question. For example: Good Jesus, can You help Mommy and Daddy in their work? Can You give some comfort to Grandma who is sick? Can You provide for all the children of the world that have nothing to eat? Or, Jesus, I ask You to help the Pope to guide the Church well. If you ask with faith, the Lord certainly listens to you.

Finally, I express my gratitude to your parents, to the accompaniers, to the Lady President of the Region and to all those present. Thank you for this beautiful initiative and for the commitment to the little ones entrusted to you. All that you did to just one of these littlest ones, you did for Jesus!

I remember you in my prayer. May Jesus bless you always and Our Lady protect you.

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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