As I reported in 2011, the Vatican had a special train for the 60th anniversary of the founding of Caritas. You can see the video here. And another post, “Vatican Station To Come Alive.” Now, the Vatican is planning a special train for children, their teachers and their families, that will go from Milan to the Vatican. When the train arrives, Pope Francis will be waiting at the station to greet the children.
CHILDREN’S TRAIN ARRIVES IN VATICAN
Vatican City, 18 June 2013 (VIS) – A press conference was held his morning in the Holy See Press Office to present the initiative “Children’s Train: A Journey through Beauty”. Participating in the presentation were Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, and Mr. Mauro Moretti, delegate administrator of the Italian Railway System.
The project will be a trip made by 450 children of various nationalities with their teachers, family members, and volunteers, in a train made available just for them by the Italian Railway System, starting from Milan on 23 June and making two stops, in Bologna and Florence, before arriving at the Vatican train station where they will be received by Pope Francis himself, who will be awaiting them at the station.
The objective of the initiative is to promote the direct experience of artistic creation, bringing the littlest ones closer to visual communication and the language of images, from which sprang the idea of a journey through beauty. During the trip, other educational and artistic programs dedicated to children will be offered by the personnel of the Italian Railway System.
“I focused on the children,” said Cardinal Ravasi, “because I think that therein lies the root from which we must build a generation of young persons who still have … the beauty of creativity—that doesn’t seem old at the start—who aren’t already discouraged the way we are but who are ready to live more the future that awaits them. Basically, religions have precisely this fundamental purpose: to teach how to come together, how to continuously declare the future, that is, hope.”
Here is a picture of the gate where the track enters the Vatican. When closed, there is a heaven metal door that closes agains the wall.