“Sowers of beauty and joy in a world that is gloomy and sad at times.” With these words, Pope Francis addressed the almost 7000 circus men, funfair people, puppeteers, music bands, jugglers and pavement artists in Paul VI Hall. All of them partake in the Jubilee of the world of the traveling popular entertainment. Before the hearing, an artistic entertainment had animated the Holy Father while he was waiting.” Artisans of feasts, marvel, and beauty”. This is how Bergoglio defines the participants in the Jubilee of the traveling show. Circus men, fair people, funfair, fairground workers, street performers, artists, designers, members of bands, and animals. The Pope even petted a tiger. The artists have filled the Hall with cheerful colors and sounds.
The Pope laughed and made jokes in their company: “You can even scare the Pope, making him pet that tiger… But you have power! And you cannot even imagine how much you help the world: you sow good seeds. Thank you for this. Thank you!” Your performances – was the reflection of the Holy Father – are able to “enrich society around the world, feed hope and faith, elevate the spirits, showing the audacity of particularly challenging exercises, fascinate with the wonder of beauty and offer opportunities for healthy entertainment. “Feasts and joy are the distinctive signs of your identity. You have a special resource: with your constant movement, you can bring the love of God, His embrace and mercy to everyone. You can be an itinerant Christian community, witnesses of Christ who are always on the way to meet those are far away.”
In particular Francis, greeted by card. Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People, expressed appreciation for the initiative of some circuses, which opened the door to the last during this jubilee year. By doing so, they showed continuity with the commitment of the many artists who travel with their art in places affected by war, natural disasters and violence: “I congratulate you because, during this Holy Year, you have opened your shows to the most needy, the poor and the homeless, those in prison, and to underprivileged kids. This is mercy too: to sow beauty and joy in a world that is gloomy and sad at times.”
Traveling popular entertainment are one of the oldest forms of entertainment, for everyone, a vehicle of the culture of encounter and sociability while having fun – the Pope expressed his wish –, and they shall always be open to the small and needy. The Church is by with you, Francis assured the traveling artists, meaning the difficulty they face in balancing their rhythms of life and work: “Therefore, I invite you to take care of your faith. Take every opportunity to draw close to the Sacraments. Teach your children to love God and their neighbors. As you know, the Church is concerned about the problems that accompany your traveling life, and wants to help to eliminate the prejudices that keep you on the outskirts”. After the audience, the artists crossed the Holy Door of the Vatican Basilica. In the afternoon, there was a show in St. Peter’s Square.