Members of the Institute of Jainology bowed out of respect as they greeted Pope Francis during a private meeting Wednesday morning. Jainism is an ancient Indian religion that promotes compassion and non-violence through their appreciation of education, art and culture.
Pope Francis spoke to the group about the responsibility all have to care for creation and mother Earth and thanked them for how they view the world.
"We all love mother Earth, because she is the one who has given us life and safeguards us; I would also call her sister Earth, who accompanies us during the journey of our existence. Our duty is to take care of her just as we would take care of a mother or of a sister, with responsibility, with tenderness and with peace.”
The Pope mentioned that this meeting united them through the ideal that "healing and caring for the Earth is healing and caring for the whole of humanity.”
The Institute of Jainology presented Pope Francis with a tirthankara from their spiritual practice, which he graciously accepted. Look how many greeted the Pope.
"It is a pleasure. It is an honor to be here with you.”
At the end of the meeting, the Jains joined the Pope for a photo.