Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - The
school "must never be placed in opposition to the family", instead they must be a place where students "develop a sense of the good, the true and the beautiful", three things which "should never be
separated". Schools should teach "customs
and values, together with knowledge", in so far as they are "a place of
encounter on the journey" of life , "and today we need this culture
of encounter to get to know each other, to love one another, to walk together".
A "celebration of schools"
surrounded Pope Francis this afternoon, thronging St. Peter's Square and adjacent
streets: music, song and especially the warm and loud enthusiasm of 300
thousand people, mostly students, many with their families and their teachers. The
Pope toured among them for more than half an hour, travelling on his jeep down a
corridor created amid a crowd that arrived as far as Castel Sant'Angelo on the
banks of the Tiber.
The gathering involved
entertainment provided by personalities from the world of culture and
television as students and teachers, who spoke of "their" school and
why it is nice to learn. The
event, sponsored by the Italian Bishops' Conference, gathered public and
private institutions from across the country.
Pope, clearly enthused by the festive atmosphere, also explained, "why I
love school, I loved it as a student, as a teacher and then as a bishop". "There,
I learned that you can not grow by yourself, because there is always a loving
gaze to help you grow. I noticed that gave in my very first teacher, who took
me on when I was 6 years old". "She taught me to love school".
"I love school because it is
synonymous with openness to reality, or so it should be, but this isn't always
the case. Going to school means to open your mind and heart to reality in its
dimensions. We do not have the right to be afraid of reality".
secret - he then said - is learning how to learn, this remains ever true",
" a great teacher who was an Italian priest taught this, Don Lorenzo
"Another reason why I love school
is that the school is a place of encounter: all of us are on a journey"
and in school we meet classmates, teachers, staff; teachers
meet with parents, the principal meets with families". "It is a place
of encounter and we need to have an encounter to get to know each other and
To give an example of the
principle that "the school is the first society that integrates the family"
and that the two realities "should never be placed in opposition to one
another, [indeed] they are complementary to one another and it is important that
they collaborate", the Pope quoted an African proverb which says "it takes
an entire village to educate a child".
And finally, "I love school
because it teaches us the meaning of [all that is] good, true and beautiful. These
are all intertwined and should never be separated, because what is good is also
true and beautiful, what is true is also good and beautiful
and what is beautiful is also good and true. "
allow yourselves to be robbed of your love for school".