November 19, 2011. (Romereports.com)
The pope visited a shelter that welcomes dozens of abandoned children, some of whom are sick or malnourished. It's called “Peace and Joy,” and it's run by the Missionaries of Charity in Benin.
Cotonou's Archbishop and the Mother Superior welcomed the pope, while children sang and danced for Benedict XVI.
Another 800 people, many of them children, waited for the pope in the nearby church of St. Rita. There, the pope talked about the day of his First Communion. Benedict XVI“The day of my First Communion was one of the most beautiful days of my life.”
He also said that during Communion, one should be ready to “receive Jesus with love and attention.”
Talking to others about God is also key, said the pope. He described it as a treasure that should be used generously. The pope then explained to children how he prays.
“I can also use the Gospels. That way, I keep within my heart a passage which has touched me and which will guide me throughout the day.”
When it comes to praying, the pope asked them to pray as a family. He also called on children to encourage their parents to pray together as a unit.
“Ask your parents to pray with you! Sometimes you may even have to push them a little. But do not hesitate to do so. God is that important.!”
The pope also explained what a rosary is and how to pray it.
At the end of the gathering, the pope gave a rosary to each one of the children.
During the pope's international trips he usually sets time aside to meet with underprivileged children.