Message from Pope Francis circulating on the internet is fake but meaningful

Pope’s message to Iraqis before his arrival there Friday
PA Images/EAST NEWS

Message from Pope Francis circulating on the internet is fake but meaningful

There is a message circulating on the Internet from Pope Francis, a retelling of his message around the world. Compelling, inspiring – and fake news too.

In fact it is an almost verbal translation of a Portuguese text entitled “Palco de vida” (Stages of life), attributed to the well-known poet Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935). Only the final line “Life is an incredible show” was changed from the less exciting “Life is an obstacle not to be missed.”

The story goes on to point out that there are scholars who are now asking if Pessoa was really the author:

There is a further twist here: Even the attribution to Pessoa has been removed by scholars, citing major differences from his style and the absence of any actual manuscript.

Does it matter who wrote it? Not at all, suppose. At its main content is the message about the ups and downs of life, the struggles we face on a daily basis and how by overcoming them we can find happiness. The full message will appear below:

 

Pope Francis’s End of Year Message

You can have flaws, be anxious, and even angry, but do not forget that your life is the greatest enterprise in the world. Only you can stop it from going bust. Many appreciate you, admire you and love you.

Remember that to be happy is not to have a sky without a storm, a road without accidents, work without fatigue, relationships without disappointments.

To be happy is to find strength in forgiveness, hope in battles, security in the stage of fear, love in discord. It is not only to enjoy the smile, but also to reflect on the sadness. It is not only to celebrate the successes, but to learn lessons from the failures. It is not only to feel happy with the applause, but to be happy in anonymity.

To be happy is to stop feeling like a victim and become your destiny’s author. It is to cross deserts, yet be able to find an oasis in the depths of your soul. It is to thank God for every morning, for the miracle of life.

Being happy is not being afraid of your own feelings. It is having the courage to hear a “no”. It is confidence in the face of criticism, even when unjustified. It is to kiss your children, pamper your parents, to live poetic moments with friends, even when they hurt us. To be happy is to let live the creature that lives in each of us, free, joyful and simple.

It is to have the maturity to be able to say: “I made mistakes”. It is to have the courage to say “I am sorry”. It is to have the sensitivity to say, “I need you”. It is to have the ability to say “I love you”.

May your life become a garden of opportunities for happiness. That in spring may it be a lover of joy. In winter, a lover of wisdom. And when you make a mistake, start all over again. For only then will you be in love with life.

You will find that to be happy is not to have a perfect life. But use the tears to irrigate tolerance. Use your losses to train patience. Use your mistakes to sculpt serenity. Use pain to plaster pleasure. Use obstacles to open windows of intelligence.

Never give up. Never give up on people who love you. Never give up on happiness, for life is an incredible show.

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