Pope Francis hosted a gathering of over 100 comedians from 15 countries at the Vatican on June 14, including names like Chris Rock, Jimmy Fallon, and Stephen Colbert.

The event, organized by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Culture and Education, aimed to highlight the role of humor in uniting people and spreading joy amid challenging times.

During the gathering, Pope Francis first lightened the atmosphere by suggesting he throw away his prepared speech for a humorous gesture, while making a playful hand motion.

Praising their ability to spread smiles even during global and personal crises, he said that humor can bring peace and highlight issues in society without spreading fear. “You unite people because laughter is contagious. Humor does not offend, humiliate, or put people down according to their flaws,” he said.

Pope Francis also praised the comedians for their unique ability to bridge generational and cultural divides. He said “You denounce abuses of power; you give voice to forgotten situations.”

Acknowledging the value of humor, the Pope told the comedians when you make spectators smile, “you also make God smile.” 

Pope Francis added that he has a long-time daily prayer for a good sense of humor. After his speech, Pope Francis greeted the comedians individually, sharing jokes and laughs.

Editorial credit: Alessia Pierdomenico / Shutterstock.com
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