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Pope Francis: to paediatricians, “look beyond sickness, beyond yourself and your own effort”

(Foto Vatican Media/SIR)

“Even more than with children, your work puts you in constant contact with parents, the first custodians and managers of your patients. They not only ask for your medical expertise, but they also seek human security, entrusting you with what they hold most dear”. Pope Francis wrote this in his prepared speech handed out during the audience with the Italian Federation of Paediatricians in the Hall of Popes. “As for the relationship with the children you examine – Pope Francis suggested -, they have powerful antennas, and rapidly grasp whether we are well disposed to them or if we are distracted, because maybe we wish we had already finished the shift, would like to work faster, or find a patient who screams less… You too are men and women, with your worries, but we know that you are also trained to smile, necessary to give courage and open a gap of trust in the little ones; and even medicines are more effective” this way. “Look beyond, that is, beyond sickness and contingencies, beyond the present moment, beyond the self or one’s own effort”, the Pope exhorted. “When experienced with this inspiration, the work you do represents a real mission, which involves both the mind and the heart, and somehow knows no detachment, because although there are periods of vacation and breaks from work, your profession will always accompany you, and involves you for far longer and more deeply than during the hours you are at work”. “With this style – Pope Francis concluded -, you give Christian witness, because you seek to practice Gospel values and your sense of belonging to the Church; but also for the breadth of your gaze, for the ability to imagine the social context and the health system most appropriate for the future, and for your desire to be at the service, with humility and competence, of every person entrusted to you”.

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