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Pope: Attractions invite joy of the Gospel

Pope Francis addresses Italy’s National Union of Travelling Attractionists (UNAV) and says attractions participate in the proclamation of the Gospel through the simple and pure joy they bring to all.

By Vatican News staff writer

Addressing Italy’s National Union of Travelling Attractionists (UNAV) on Monday morning, Pope Francis commented on the value of attractions as carriers both of joy and of the message of the Gospel.

The National Union of Travelling Attractionists helps protect and promote traveling attractions in Italy.

Proclaiming joy of Gospel through attractions

Reflecting on the opening phrase from the Apostolic Exhortation ‘Evangelii gaudium’ – “the joy of the Gospel fills the heart and the whole life of those who encounter Jesus” – the Pope noted how the association helps cooperate in “the proclamation of the Gospel because of the joy you bring to people” through their attractions.

In the villages and towns where the attractions pass through, Pope Francis said the Church accompanies the operators in their work, bringing the “joyful proclamation of the Kingdom of God” to everyone.

Encounter and festivity

Moments of pure joy that traveling attractions can help bring also spread creativity and imagination, Pope Francis said, while distracting children and adults from “the little worries that beset daily life.”

This is nurtured by the genuineness found in a place such as an amusement park, which diverges from the “artificial and conformist models” circulating in the media, the Pope noted.

In a world often filled with darkness and conflict, the simple and pure joy found in an amusement park can be a way to be happy.

By encouraging people to gather together and enjoy their company, traveling attractions can also bring moments of encounter together as “brothers in simplicity.”

The Pope concluded his address by thanking the organization for their ability to remind us that “we are made not only for work, but also for celebration.”

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