At the end of Wednesday’s general audience, a delegation from the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE) presented Pope Francis with a book of drawings and letters which children, representing the outskirts of the European nations, wanted to give to the Pope.
In addition to officials of the CCEE, Vasile S., a Moldovan child, was the ambassador of the children on the outskirts of Europe.
The book was answer to “a desire to give an image of the Church in Europe, which went beyond the merely pastoral and institutional dimension. From that came the idea of entrusting to the innocent eyes of children from the outskirts of our European cities the task of writing to their Pope Francis,” the introduction explains.
Eleven-year-old Vasile, who presented the book to the Holy Father, wanted to say this:
“Dear Pope Francis
My sister told me that I must call you “Pope” because you are an important person, but I don’t know what “Pope” means and so I’ll call you father. For me and my sister, my mum was an important person like you, even if we were a poor family, here in Moldova. Now mum is no longer here, because evil people did bad things to her. But I want to tell you that every day I come to eat in a kitchen which has your name: “Pope Francis”, and I am also sending you one of my photos in the kitchen, because a priest took us off the street where we were living here in Chisinau, gave us a house where we can sleep and eat what is cooked in “your” house, because where I eat is written “Pope Francis”, so it is your house. I am happy, even if they have taken my mum, I found a house, your kitchen, many friends, this priest, and we all live together well, we go to school, we are clean and I also have a bike. Pope Francis can you please send me one of your photos, so that I can put it up where I sleep and I can also say I have a father? I promise that if you send me a photo I will do my homework. On Saturdays this priest talks to us about God and I like it, then we sing, play and eat pizza in your kitchen. Pope Francis I want to give you a present: I have made a little cross for you. You see, there is a child on the cross who is smiling, because the priest is always telling us that even when one is suffering it is necessary to smile. Ciao Pope Francis.