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Pope thanks Jains for commitment to care for environment

Pope Francis today thanked the Jain community for its commitment to protect "our sister Earth." The Pope's words came as he received members of the Institute of Jainology in private audience in the Vatican before leading the weekly General Audience in St Peter's Square.

Expressing his joy for the encounter, Pope Francis welcomed the Jains saying that "this encounter nurtures our responsibility to care for creation", and calling creation a "gift that we have all received" he said "creation is God's mirror, the mirror of the Creator, the mirror of nature, and it is our mirror too."

"We all love mother Earth, because she is the one who has given us life and safeguards us; I would also call her sister Earth, who accompanies us during the journey of our existence. Our duty is to take care of her just as we would take care of a mother or of a sister, with responsibility, with tenderness and with peace" he said.

And he thanked the Jains for what they do to protect and care for the earth and said "we remain united within this ideal ... in the awareness that healing and caring for the Earth is healing and caring for the whole of humanity".

Jainism is an ancient religion that originated in India. The Institute of Jainology was established in 1983 and it was subsequently registered as a Charitable Trust. Compassion and non-violence towards all living beings are the fundamental principles of Jain philosophy. Its mission is to propagate Jainism and its values through art, culture and education.

Source: Vatican Radio