Vatican City, 18 November 2015 (VIS) – After today's catechesis the Pope recalled that Thursday 20 November will be the Universal Children's Day. “It is a duty of all to protect children and to place their well-being before any other criterion, so that they are never subjected to forms of servitude or mistreatment”, he said. “I hope that the international community may keep careful watch over the living conditions of children, especially where they are at risk of recruitment by armed groups, and may help families guarantee to every boy and girl the right to schooling and education”.
He also mentioned that on 21 November the Church commemorates the Presentation of Mary in the Temple and therefore asks the grace of the gift of the vocation of men and women who, in monasteries and hermitages, have dedicated their lives to God. So that cloistered communities may fulfil their important mission, in prayer and in active silence, let us ensure they do not lack our spiritual and material closeness”.
Francis cordially welcomed pilgrims from Poland, especially the representatives of the Independent Self-Governing Trade Union “Solidarnosc”. “For thirty-five years your union has been engaged in the world of work, both physical and intellectual, as well as in the protection of the fundamental rights of the person and society. Be faithful to this commitment, so that political or economic interests do not prevail over the values that constitute the essence of human solidarity. I entrust you and all the members of the Union to the protection of your patron, Blessed Don Jerzy Popieluszko, and I impart to you my heartfelt blessing”.