Pope Francis met 600 young passengers from the ‘Children’s Train’ on Monday. Under the initiative, organised by the ‘Courtyard of the Gentiles, 200 children from underprivileged backgrounds from Bari and Trani came to the Vatican railway station on a special train where the joined hundreds of youngsters from other parts of Italy. They were welcomed by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and Michele Mario Elia, director of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane SpA, the Italian rail company.
This year the trip was for children of detainees in the Italian penitentiaries of Roma, Civitavecchia, Latina, Bari and Trani. The theme of the daywas ‘Flight’.
since it offered the children a chance to ‘fly away’ from their daily reality, the confines of the prison wall and forced separation from their families. The children greeted Pope Francis in the Paul VI Hall with hundreds of multicoloured kites.
The Holy Father spoke with them on the theme of flight, inviting them to fly with their imagination to be with their families and to fulfil their dreams. “Never stop dreaming: he told them. “You can fly with your dreams, and dreaming opens the doors to happiness.”