2016-06-16 12:48:00

Pope Francis greets participants of Jubilee for Circuses

(Vatican Radio) The world of the Circus spreads “a culture of encounter” and those working in such travelling shows have a unique opportunity “to be Christ’s witnesses” to “even the most distant” of people:  that’s what Pope Francis said Thursday to members of Italian circuses and travelling entertainment.

In a festive audience in the Vatican, Pope Francis greeted representatives of circus associations, employees of amusement parks and fairs, street performers, artists, designers and puppeteers, musicians and folk groups celebrating their Jubilee for Circus and Travelling Show People.  The Pope told them their festiveness and joy “are distinctive signs of your identity, your profession and your life” and that this appointment “could not be overlooked” in the Jubilee of Mercy.

The 15-16 June Jubilee was sponsored and organized by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People in collaboration with the "Migrantes" Foundation of the Italian Episcopal Conference and the Migrantes Office of the Diocese of Rome.

“You are ‘artisans’ of festivities, of wonder, of beauty,” the Pope said, and “with these qualities, you enrich all world society, even with the aim of nurturing sentiments of hope and confidence. You do it through performances that have the ability to elevate the soul, to show the boldness of particularly challenging exercises, to fascinate with the wonder of beauty and to offer opportunities for healthy entertainment.”

Pope Francis thanked them for having, in this year of Mercy, “opened your shows to the most needy, the poor and the homeless, prisoners, and disadvantaged kids. This too is mercy: to sow beauty and joy in a world sometimes gloomy and sad.”

The Holy Father admitted that “the rhythms of your life and of your work” can often make it “difficult for you to be part of a parish community on a regular basis.”  Nevertheless,  he invited them “to take care of your faith. Take every opportunity to draw close to the Sacraments. Transmit to your children the love for God and neighbor.”

Concluding, Pope Francis said “the Church is concerned about the problems that accompany your traveling life, and wants to help eliminate prejudices” that can sometimes keep them “on the margins.”  He called on churches and parishes to be attentive to the needs of travelling performers and all people on the move.”


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