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16th of January 2018

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Children’s’ Art a Gift – ZENIT – English

Drawings sent by children to Pope Francis now become a gift for other children, according to Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin on the Occasion December 19, 2017.

His comments came at the opening of an exhibition of drawings displayed in the headquarters of the Hospital of Palidoro (Fiumicino). The event launched the fundraising campaign promoted by the Bambino Gesu Hospital and “La Civilta Cattolica,” whose objective is to support the care and reception of patients from abroad.

“The great commitment and the great passion of the people that have worked at Palidoro, are the sign of the capacity to be able to widen the realms of the heart and be able to expect, with the eyes of hope, to transform this into a concrete space of hospitality,” Cardinal Parolin said. “We owe a thank you to all those that in all this time have contributed daily to the development of the headquarters.”

He reminded listeners that in the Holy See’s international work, “the care of children occupies a privileged place…the liturgical Season of Advent, which we are living, teaches us the fecund prospect of combining expectation and hope.”

Here is a ZENIT translation of the greeting of Cardinal Parolin’s Address

* * *

The Secretary of State’s Greeting

Excellency,

Lady President,

Distinguished Doctors and Paramedic Personnel,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

It’s a pleasing occasion for me to intervene at the inauguration of the Exhibition “Dear Pope Francis, I Give You a Drawing.” I thank the Administrative Council of the Bambino Gesu Paediatric Hospital for the invitation. Likewise, I thank for their presence the Authorities who intervened here.

The Exhibition brings together drawings given to the Holy Father of children of five Continents. They communicate the world seen by children. I wish to make evident the collaboration between the Bambino Gesu Paediatric Hospital and “La Civilta Cattolica” Review, to whom their lovely drawings were entrusted so that they would bear fruit, as small talents. They are a gift of the children to the Pope and now they can become a gift for other children.

In this way, the Hospital starts an initiative of direct support of health care activities geared to small patients, deprived of health coverage, from various Continents. The Holy See, which has at heart the good of children, supports this project joyfully.

In the Holy See’s international activity, the care of children occupies a privileged place and in this ambit, a center stage task is carried out by the Bambino Gesu Paediatric Hospital, which unites the passion of charity to the intelligence of medical knowledge. To support its action means to widen the boundaries of solidarity, be it in the reception of children from different countries of the world, be it in the diffusion of formation and knowledge.

I’m happy to visit on this occasion the headquarters of Palidoro. This beautiful structure witnesses the prophetic intuition of Blessed Paul VI that in 1978 – almost 40 years ago – entrusted the center, previously managed by the Pontifical Work of Assistance, to the direction of the Hospital.

We can read in that gesture an action of discernment to interpret the signs of the times: after the discovery of Sabin’s vaccine and eradication of polio, the structure, dedicated to the care of that sickness, was in need of finding a new vocation. It was an important challenge that required financial investments and competent human resources to be addressed in an isolated and peripheral territory.

That challenge of yesterday, today sees the budding of some fruits. As Pope Francis affirmed during the Audience, granted to the community of the Hospital in December of last year: “The Bambino Gesu has not looked at its constraints, but has created new spaces and so many projects . . . This tells us that the quality of the care doesn’t depend solely on logistical aspects but on the realms of the heart. It’s essential to widen the realms of the heart: then Providence will not fail to think also of the concrete spaces!”

 The great commitment and the great passion of the people that have worked at Palidoro, are the sign of the capacity to be able to widen the realms of the heart and be able to expect, with the eyes of hope, to transform this into a concrete space of hospitality. We owe a thank you to all those that in all this time have contributed daily to the development of the headquarters.

Today we observe significant results that lead the center of Palidoro to be an important reference for the Italian national health system; it is a place where concrete answers are given to sick children and youngsters. It’s a structure that points to excellence, equipped with instruments of the latest generation for rehabilitation and diagnosis.

The Liturgical Season of Advent, which we are living, teaches us the fecund prospect of combining expectation and hope. Therefore, it spurs us to prepare ourselves ever better for reception, to respond to the needs of the little sick and ultimately to improve ourselves. In the service of care, we are in constant need of following the way of scientific and technological innovation, always keeping the patient and his family at the center, respecting fully their rights and intercepting their needs.

This has always been the mission of the whole of the Bambino Gesu Paediatric Hospital. To fulfill it, it’s crucial that the activities of diagnosis and care are based on evangelical values shared by all the staff and directors and are inspired by high professionalism and transparency.

I would like to conclude with Pope Francis’ words: “May Mary’s look, Consoler of the Afflicted, illumine the face of the Church in her daily commitment to the needy and the suffering. The precious fruits of this solicitude of the Church for the world of suffering and of sickness, are a motive of thanksgiving to the Lord Jesus, who made Himself solidary with us, in obedience to the Father’s Will to death on the cross, so that humanity would be redeemed” (Message for the 25th World Day of the Sick, 2017).

In expressing my sincere gratitude for your commitment, I encourage you to persevere in the path undertaken and I wish you and your families a Holy Christmas and a serene New Year,

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

JF

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