The Pope said this today after praying the Angelus with 50,000 pilgrims and numerous children who went to St. Peter’s Square to see the traditional twelfth night procession of the three Wise Men, accompanied by hundreds of groups in folkloric dress, horses, and musical bands from the Italian cities of Cascia and Narni.
The Holy Father mentioned that Missionary Childhood Day was also observed on the feast of the Epiphany, established by Pope Pius XII.
With the theme “Children Help Children,” thousands of initiatives of solidarity were organized worldwide today, supported by the Pontifical Society for Missionary Childhood.
As the Pope pointed out, in particular they wished to teach children “to grow with a spirit of openness to the world and of attention to their more underprivileged contemporaries.”
“In my ministry, I also count on children’s prayer and their active participation in the mission of the Church,” he said.
After the Angelus, the Wise Men, dressed in lavish costumes, visited the Pope in the Apostolic Palace to offer him the traditional and symbolic gifts.