February 22, 2024

Verbatim: Pope Francis’ address to a delegation from “La Diaconie de la Beauté”


Pope Francis’ address to a delegation from “La Diaconie de la Beauté” at the beginning of Lent.

I am meeting you again on the occasion of your Symposium in Rome, and I rejoice with you for the 10th anniversary of these “Festivals” you organize every year. I thank Msgr. Le Gall for his dedication to this association.

I would like to reflect briefly on the three dimensions that characterize it: it is a spiritual association, an events-related association and a residential association.

The first dimension is spiritual. Your vocation is that of helping artists to create a bridge between Heaven and Earth. You want to reawaken in them the search for truth, whether they be musicians, poets or singers, painters, architects or film directors, actors or dancers, or yet others. For beauty beckons us to a different way of being in the world. It is about contemplation. Indeed, “beauty makes us sense that life is directed towards fullness, fulfilment. In true beauty, we begin to experience the desire for God” (Address to Artists, 23 June 2023). Believing in God the creator cannot but encourage the creature to overcome itself, to project itself into divine life through artistic inspiration.

The second dimension is events-related. The Diaconie de Beauté Association helps artists to re-establish a fruitful dialogue with the Church, through meetings, shows, concerts, performances. It is a way of making the proximity of the Church to artists visible by entering into dialogue with their culture and their life, whether or not they are believers.

And the third dimension is residential. Thanks to your fruitful apostolate, your work multiplies with the establishment of artists’ homes around the world. The life of an artist is often marked by loneliness, sometimes by depression and great inner suffering. Your challenge is to bring out the beauty that is hidden in him or her, so that he or she in turn becomes an apostle of this beauty that generates life, hope and a thirst for happiness. A mission that helps to enhance the dignity of the artist who no longer feels rejected, misunderstood, marginalized and excluded. Continue with this!

Brothers and sisters, I urge you to be singers of harmony among peoples, and also singers of this harmony between cultures and religions. Our humanity is shaken by violence of every type, by wars, by social crises. In this context, we need men and women capable of making us dream of a different world, a beautiful world. Make people dream, so that they may aspire to a life in fullness!

Furthermore, today it is urgent for us to recreate the harmony between man and the environment. The great climatic crises demand that we review our habits and our behaviour. And art is a very powerful means for transmitting the message of the beauty of nature. Indeed, “to care for the world in which we live means to care for ourselves. Yet we need to think of ourselves more and more as a single family dwelling in a common home” (Encyclical Letter Fratelli Tutti, 17).

Let us ask ourselves: what is our contribution to building a world in harmony? This is a question we must ask ourselves, each one of us. The culture of beauty always sets us in motion. Encountering the beauty of God enables us to set out again, to start afresh, on the path towards a more humane and more fraternal society.

Dear friends, I thank you and I wish you all the best for your “diaconate.” I bless you from my heart. And I ask you, please, to pray for me.

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