Pope Francis urges Mary’s Meals to go on with its important work

His Holiness Pope Francis has offered strong words of encouragement to Mary’s Meals, during a meeting in Rome with our founder and chief executive.

Back to all stories | Posted on 11 May 2016 in News

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow – accompanied by Francesco Stefanini, executive director of Mary’s Meals Italy – met with the Pope at the end of his weekly general audience in St Peter’s Square.

During a conversation in Italian, the Pontiff expressed great joy upon hearing that Mary’s Meals is now providing a daily meal in school to more than 1.1 million of the world’s poorest children.

Pope Francis then grasped the wrists of his two visitors and, speaking with great intensity, said: “Avanti! Avanti! Avanti! Che Dio benedica il Vostro lavoro.” This translates as: “Onwards! Onwards! Onwards! May God bless your work.”

Following the meeting at the Vatican, Magnus said: “Those forceful words of Pope Francis, spoken from the depths of his heart, will remain forever a source of encouragement to me, and I hope for all of us in the Mary’s Meals family.

“He urges us to go forward – always onwards towards that next hungry child waiting, towards this vision of ours that every child in the world might receive a meal every day in their place of education. We will remember his words especially whenever we feel discouraged, or tempted to think that the obstacles are too great.

“I am so profoundly grateful to the Scottish Bishops who asked the Holy Father to meet with me and was so proud to be able to present the entire Mary’s Meals family to him again, this time in the form of my book, which tells of our shared story.”

Pope Francis was gifted with a special copy of The Shed That Fed A Million Children, Magnus’ bestselling book which tells the extraordinary story of Mary’s Meals. The specially-bound edition, the first ever printed in the Pope’s native language of Spanish, bore the words ‘un regalo para el Papa Francisco’ on the cover – ‘a gift for Pope Francis’.

The Shed That Fed A Million Children is out now