"There are so many and many women who, in their daily commitments, with dedication and conscience, with courage that is at times heroic, have developed and put their genius to use, their precious traits in the most varied, specific and qualified skills combined with the real experience of being mothers and teachers."
On the plenary theme of educating in fraternity, the Pope said women as educators "have a special vocation, capable of creating and growing new forms of acceptance and esteem."
"The feminine figure has always been at the center of familiar education, not exclusively as a mother," he said, adding that the contribution of women in the field of education is "inestimable."
Education, he said, " brings a wealth of implications both for the woman herself, for her way of being, and for her relationships, for the way she deals with human life and life in general."
Because of this, men and women are called to contribute together in fostering universal brotherhood, which is, in the end, also an education "in the peace and complimentarity of their various and sensitive roles."
"Women, intimately linked to the mystery of life, can do much to promote the spirit of brotherhood, with their care for the preservation of life and with their conviction that love is the only force that can render the world habitable for all," he said.
In effect, women are often the only ones to accompany others, particularly the weakest in the family and in society, and victims of conflicts.
"Thanks to their contribution, educating in fraternity – due to their nature of inclusion and generating ties – can overcome the culture of waste," Francis said.
Educating in fraternity is also an essential part of interreligious dialogue, he said, noting that women are often committed more than men in this area, "and so contribute to a better understanding of the challenges characteristic of a multicultural reality."
However, "women can also become fully involved in exchanges at the religious level, as well as those at the theological level," the Pope said, noting that many women "are well prepared to face encounters of interreligious dialogue at the highest levels and not just from the Catholic side."
"This means that the contribution of women is not limited to 'feminine' arguments or to encounters of only women," he said, adding that dialogue "is a path that man and woman must accomplish together."
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