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Pope Francis reflects on childhood

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Pope Francis met with and answered questions from young people who participate in the Scholas Initiative which he founded.

This was the first international meeting organised by the University of Meaning, a Scholas initiative that promotes connections between students from different cultures and countries to promote fraternity.

The young people began by asking him about his childhood where he recalled when he used to spend his afternoons at his grandparents’ house so that his mother could take care of his newborn baby brother.

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“And the oldest memory is when my grandmother would come and take me to their house and I would spend the day with my grandparents until after lunch,” he reminisced.

“Of course, they spoke Piedmontese there, so my first language was Piedmontese. And then I learned Spanish.”

He also spoke about how his love for literature was born, recalling his father reading Edmundo De Amicis to him. He even recited part of a poem by Borges from memory.

The young people then asked the pope for his advice on life. He answered by saying “The worst thing that can happen in life is that pain closes you down… Pain makes you stiff. Leave room for affection. Pain asks to be cared for. Pain asks for that. Leave room for hope. When pain closes in on itself, it is always poisonous.”

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