Pope Francis in Assisi: "Without loving the poor, no misery can be fought"
In Assisi for the "The Economy of Francesco," Pope Francis walked with the help of his cane to Lyric Theatre, where a meeting with young people was held. There, he greeted Domenico Sorrentino, Bishop of Assisi, and young people from various countries, who presented him with gifts.
In the theatre, young people from around the world were waiting for him—cheering for him in Spanish.
-This is the Pope's youth.
-Welcome, Francis, welcome.
Pope Francis enjoyed several musical performances and he encouraged the young people not to remain quiet.
If you don't have anything to say, at least make noise.
The Pope listened to different economic and environmental initiatives from young people from Italy, Kenya and the Republic of Benin.
Pope Francis was not the only Argentinean present. This university professor created the project called "100 Assisi." In Argentina, he organizes meetings between businessmen, workers, trade unions, Church members and neighbors. He wants to promote the culture of encounter and encourages people to think about solutions together.
Through the "Economy of Francesco," we found the way to put into practice the words of His Holiness and the hope of knowing that there are many of us who prioritize unity over conflict and the common good as an engine of change towards integral development.
Another highly anticipated moment was Lilly's speech. She is from Thailand and was the youngest speaker at the event. As a result of her persistance and determination, the Thai government passed a law banning single-use plastics in 70 of the largest retail companies in the country.
Today is an example of what we can achieve if we come together in a community like this. Everyone in this room has the right to have their voice heard, just like mine.
A man named Andrea also spoke. He was arrested for killing someone during a fight. For a year and a half, he has been working at the organization bee.4 altre menti, an opportunity he never expected to find in prison. Andrea said the work has helped him find meaning in life and he invited the Pope to visit the prison.
We feel a great responsibility and hope that we can contribute to creating a prison where you come out better than you went in.
In his speech, Pope Francis called young people to be faster and more creative than the economy instead of reacting to a system that destroys. He said the secret is to love the poor, something capitalism does not do.
We must not love misery, rather, we must fight it, above all by creating work, dignified work. We must not love misery. But the Gospel says that, without loving the poor, no misery can be fought.
The event ended with Pope Francis and Lilly, the youngest speaker present, signing a pact to make all of the Pope's economic commitments a reality.