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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis on his grandparents: "I had the deepest conversations with them"

Pope Francis met with some 50 mayors of Latin American cities. They participated in the first World Congress of Eco-Educational Cities of Scholas, an initiative promoted by the Pope himself. 

During the meeting, the Pope spoke with young people from different parts of the world. Some of them are carrying out initiatives to prevent the elderly from becoming isolated. This is the case in Granada, Spain—the aim is to promote dialogue between generations. One of the most touching moments of the meeting took place when an audience member asked the Pope a specific question. 

Your Holiness...Thank you, thank you. Your Holiness... My God this has been very great for me. This has been such a great joy that I will never forget it. It seems like a dream.
Holiness... Do you remember any conversation with an elder when you were young?

The Pope responded that he was fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time with his grandparents. 

I was born and my paternal grandparents lived a few meters from home. And a few months later my mother had her second child. So my grandmother would come in the morning and take me with them so mom could work with the second one and get ready for the other three that had to come, right? There are five of us.
I had the deepest conversations with them. As a kid listening, that's where I learned values. And that's the feeling that you always have to go back to your roots, right?

The Pope, in fact, reiterated his desire to revisit his roots in Argentina next year. 

Scholas is an important initiative for Pope Francis—he himself started it. It is a continuation of what he did in Argentina, where he encouraged dialogue between young people of different religions through activities. Now, these activities are carried out worldwide and actors, businessmen, politicians and soccer teams have joined the initiative. 

One of the players of the Naples soccer team and the only Argentinean on the team, Giovanni Simeone, gave the Pope a ball signed by all of his teammates.