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Pope Francis advises children to pray and never lie

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Credit: Rome Reports

Pope Francis took over the catechism classes at St John Vianney parish on the far eastern edge of Rome to inaugurate his “School of Prayer.”

The pope went, unannounced, to the parish after school on 11 April and met with about 200 children, Vatican News reported.

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He spoke to them about prayer, answered their questions and advised them to always pray and never lie. He also brought them chocolate Easter eggs and rosaries.

Reflecting on thanking and praying to God, one young girl asked Pope Francis a difficult question.

“How can I give thanks and pray to the Lord even though I am going through such a rough time in my life?”

“In times of difficulty, in times of illness, we also need to thank the Lord or not? Yes. We thank the Lord because He gives us the patience to bear the difficulty. And this is a beautiful thing because if we don’t have the patience, we can’t go on with life, right?” the pope responded.

Archbishop Rino Fisichella, pro-prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelisation’s section for new evangelisation, which is coordinating preparations for the Holy Year 2025, had announced the “School of Prayer” in January.

The archbishop said the project would be like the pope’s “Fridays of Mercy” initiative during the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy in 2015 – 2016, when the pope visited people on the “peripheries,” including babies in a neonatal unit, a centre for the blind and a housing project to illustrate the corporal works of mercy.

Pope Francis has asked Catholics around the world to observe 2024 as a “year of prayer” in preparation for the Holy Year. The pope’s lesson for the children focused on the theme of prayers of thanksgiving, the Dicastery for Evangelisation said in a statement afterward.

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