By Vatican News staff writer

A festive Christmas atmosphere marked the Pope’s Sunday morning’s meeting with a group of children, their parents and carers in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.

Interacting spontaneously with the families who receive assistance and care from the Santa Marta Paediatric Dispensary, Pope Francis told them it is important “to listen to the needs of people”, asking the kids to repeat this invitation in chorus.

Watching and listening to people’s needs

Responding to a child who expressed the concept of  the importance of “loving each other,” the Pope said this is a good way to summarize the Gospel message, and he emphasized the need for closeness, explaining that “If we don’t look people in the eye, we will never understand their needs.”

“A person who doesn’t listen to others only listens to oneself,” the Pope continued, noting that it is boring to be so self-centered: “Better to listen to others,” he continued inviting the children to shout this out loud.

Friends who want to help one another

The Pope spent time answering a couple of questions and inviting the children present to always take notice of those who are in need, even though sometimes it is

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