The pope's meeting with children and young people in Milan was simply spectacular. About 80 thousand young people who are preparing to receive confirmation, and their catechists, gathered together in the San Siro stadium.
They prepared a choreographed dance, which included several surprises.
The pope answered questions from one boy, a parent and an educator. It was evident he had a lot of fun, and he responded off the cuff for almost every answer.
'For you, when you were our age, what helped you to grow in friendship with Jesus?'
'I ask you again: can grandparents help us grow in friendship with Jesus?'
'That is what has happened to me: my grandparents normally spoke to me about the things of life. One grandfather was a carpenter. He taught me that through work, Jesus learned that trade. So when I looked at my grandfather, I thought of Jesus. The other grandfather told me that I should not go to sleep without saying a word to Jesus, without saying good night.'
These parents then asked the pope a question about how to best help their children.
'How can we convey to our children the beauty of faith? Sometimes we find it very difficult to talk about these things without being boring, superficial, or, even worse, authoritarian.'
The pope advised them not to argue, or at least not to argue in front of their children. Also, especially on Sunday, spend a lot of time with them.
'Don't only go to church to pray or to sleep during the homily- that happens - not just that. But after Mass, go and play together. Now that nice weather is approaching, for example, on Sunday after going to Mass with the family, it is good to go to a park or a place to play and to be together. In my country it is called 'dominguear,' to spend Sunday together.'
However, the most important was the promise that was presented for the youth to take: that of not bullying or humiliating other children.
'Promise the Lord that you will never do this and you will not permit it to be done in your school, in your school, in your neighborhood. Is that understood?'
'You promise? Never, never make fun of a schoolmate, a neighbor. Do you promise this today?'
'The pope is not happy with your response... Do you promise?'
The meeting lasted for over an hour, and time flew by. Before leaving, the pope stopped to meet with some sick people. The longest greeting was that with this baby, the last of his visit to Milan.