1. Today St Peter's Square is gladdened by the presence of many children of Catholic Action who are concluding their "month of peace". I greet you with affection, dear boys and girls and children of the A.C.R.!
In today's Gospel, Jesus proclaims: "Blessed are the peacemakers" (Mt 5: 9). These little ones can also be peacemakers! They too must train themselves in dialogue and must learn " to defeat evil with good " (cf. Rom 12: 21), as I recalled for everyone in the recent Message for the World Day of Peace. It is necessary to defeat injustice with justice, falsehood with truth, vengeance with forgiveness, hate with love.
2. This lifestyle is not improvised but requires education, beginning in infancy. This education comes from wise teachings and above all from sound models in the family, in school and in every part of society. Parishes, oratories, associations, movements and ecclesial groups must more and more become privileged places of this pedagogy of peace and love, where growing together is learned.
3. Let us pray to Mary, Queen of Peace, so that she may help youth, who so much desire peace, to become its courageous and tenacious builders.
After the Angelus, the Pope said:
Today is the celebration of the World Day of Those Sick with Leprosy. In poorer areas of the world, this incurable disease continues to afflict millions of persons, many children among them. To all these brothers and sisters I send a special greeting, assuring them of my prayers, which I extend to all those who in various ways assist them. I hope that the efforts made by the international community enable them to completely eliminate this social wound.
I salute the pilgrims present, particularly the Association of Italian Friends of Raoul Follereau, and I wish you all a happy Sunday.