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Pope to Parents: Pass on the faith to your kids. Teach them the sign of the Cross

The Pope's weekly general audience took place outdoors this week in St. Peter's Square, where the Pope made a few rounds in the popemobile to greet all the pilgrims.  For about 20 minutes, he blessed babies and received a few gifts. Everything from a soccer ball to a papal hat he exchanged with a woman.  It marked the Pope's 100th general audience. Pope Francis decided to speak about the importance of praying as a family.  POPE FRANCIS  "It's beautiful when mothers teach their children to send a kiss to Jesus or to the Virgin Mary. At that very moment, the kid's heart transforms into a site of prayer. It's a gift from the Holy Spirit.â?  It's through prayer and within the family, that this gift from the Holy Spirit grows, said the Pope. He also recognized that often times, families lead busy lives and don't have time for reflection.  POPE FRANCIS "Whoever has a family, quickly learns how to solve mathematical equations that not even the experts can handle: Turning 24 hours into 48. It's true! There are mothers and fathers who could win the Nobel prize for this.â?  But despite time limitations, prayer, he explained leads the heart to inner peace. He says a great starting point is reading the Gospel as a family.  POPE FRANCIS "Ask yourselves, 'Do you have a Gospel at home? Do we read it together as a family? Do we meditate while praying the rosary?' A Gospel that is read within the family is like good bread that nurtures the hearts of everyone.â?  Passing on the faith to younger generations he said, is a must. He says it worries him when kids don't even know how to make the sign of the Cross.  POPE FRANCIS "There are children who have not learned how to make the sign of the Cross. Mothers and fathers, teach your children this. It's a good assignment for parents to have.â?  Since September 1st marks the first 'World Day of Prayer for Care for Creation,' the Pope announced that on that day, he will lead a liturgical celebration, at 5 o clock in St. Peter's Basilica.  AC/KLH  CTV J -BN Up:ATO