Pope Francis’ visit to “The House of the Little Prince' was one of the shortest and most emotional events of the day. Young people and children who were orphaned or homeless were ready to greet him.
They sang this Perales song to welcome the pope. It is the second time this song was performed, as it also welcomed him at the Peru airport.
The director of the center wanted to thank him for coming to visit the place that can sometimes be difficult for the little ones. Many of them are victims of physical and sexual violence and some were exploited in illegal miners' camps.
FR. XABIER ARBEX
'The Mother of God region is like a sample of the conflicts that exist in the whole world, between the exploitation of resources and the conservation of our Common Home.'
They acted out this theatrical performance, which was a severe description of the exploitation of nature and violence. In it they explained how faith can restore joy and fraternity where there was pain and sadness.
One young child, Dirsey, explained how the home helped her after losing her parents in an accident.
'I lost my parents and other relatives 13 years ago, when the car they took from Puerto Maldonado to my town in Iberia fell into a river, taking away their lives. FLASH This home was immediately ready to give me support and love, and it’s the same for other girl or boy orphans or victims who, from then on, became my new family.'
Pope Francis confessed that he could not leave Puerto Maldonado without paying them a visit.
'You too are a treasure for all of us, the most precious treasure that we are called to guard. Forgive us those times when we adults have not cared for you, and when we did not give you the importance you deserve. FLASH I know that sometimes, at night, some of you feel sad. I know that you miss your father and mother who are not here, and I know too that sometimes you feel very hurt.'
He asked them not to renounce the legacy of their grandparents and to fight for their land and origins and with pride.
'The world needs you, young men and women of the first peoples, and it needs you as you are. Not disguised, but as you are. However you are. Do not be content to be the last car on the train of society, never be the caboose on the train. We need you to be the engine.'
The children listened attentively to Pope Francis' words.
'I ask you a favor, pray for me and thank you for being the little stars that light up the night.'
The pope received several gifts. Among them, a rosary made from seeds, and a drawing made by students from the Harawi tribe.
The pope, in turn, gave them this picture of Our Lady of Good Counsel. It is an image of the Blessed Mother embracing the baby Jesus, as a sign of warmth and love for the family.
Just as they had received him with music, they also sent him off in the same way.
It was a short visit, but surely one that these little stars will never forget.