Pope Francis blesses a young student during his visit to Bahrain in November 2022 Pope Francis blesses a young student during his visit to Bahrain in November 2022  (Vatican Media)

Pope: Education should combine ‘mind, heart, hands’

Pope Francis sends a message to the 4th Global Symposium Uniservitate in Manila, and calls for education to instill a harmony between learning, feelings, and service.

By Devin Watkins

The De La Salle University in the Philippine capital of Manila held an international conference on 8-9 November, bringing together experts and university students to explore various aspects of service-learning.

The event was coordinated by Porticus and the international NGO, CLAYSS, in collaboration with the Australian Catholic University, in close adherence to the Global Compact on Education launched by Pope Francis.

The Pope sent a letter of encouragement and gratitude, which was read out at the event on Thursday.


In his message, Pope Francis noted that the Symposium brought together rectors, professors, and university students with the goal of sharing their experiences and research in the field of service-learning.

He expressed his hope that the event might instill in young people a “greater awareness of the relationship that should exist between the ‘languages’ of the mind, the heart, and the hands.”

“In this way, educators can form—and not simply inform—those entrusted to their care, so that all can learn to think in harmony with what they feel and do; feel in harmony with what they think and do and do it in harmony with what they feel and think,” he explained.

Integral education and spirituality

Pope Francis advocated for an integral approach to education, so that young people can become leaders in building a better future for our global society.

He also recalled the importance of the spiritual dimension in education.

“I trust that the efforts of the Symposium,” he said, “will enhance the zeal of all taking part to serve the common good as missionary disciples, capable of bringing the transformative truth, beauty and joy of the Gospel to all in the human family, thus advancing God's kingdom of fraternal solidarity, justice and peace.”

In conclusion, the Pope assured Symposium participants of his prayers and encouraged their continued work in education with his Apostolic Blessing.

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09 November 2023, 19:36