“We know that the ‘way,’ the truly new path, is Jesus Christ,” Pope Francis said.
“By following him, by walking with him, our lives are transformed, and we in turn become leaven, salt, and light.”
The De La Salle Christian Brothers, formally known as the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, were founded by St. John Baptist de La Salle to provide Christian education to the young, especially the poor.
The brothers live in community and take vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and service of the poor through education.
Pope Francis read the brothers part of a quote from St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians in which Paul said he was in labor until “Christ is formed in you.”
“To educate in this way is your apostolate, your specific contribution to evangelization: to make humanity grow according to Christ,” he said.
“In this sense, your schools are 'Christian': not because of an external label, but because they take this path.”
Pope Francis said that Christian teachers are “on the front line” in “educating so as to move from a closed world to an open world; from a throwaway culture to a culture of care; from a culture of rejection to a culture of integration; from the pursuit of vested interests to the pursuit of the common good.”
“As educators, you know very well that this transformation must start from the conscience, or it will only be a façade,” he added.
Pope Francis’ audience with the Christian brothers was one of many audiences that he had on May 21. The pope also met with the publishers of the Famiglia Cristiana magazine, participants in an international conference on biodiversity, and young people receiving the sacrament of Confirmation in the Diocese of Genoa this year.