National Day of the Holy See, 11 June 2015 with the Courtyard of the Gentiles at Expo Milan 2015 – The Faces of the Earth.
For millennia we have referred to the Earth defining it as a mother, because we depend on the goods that it offers us.
St. Francis, in his "Canticle of the Creatures" recited "Praised be my Lord, for our Sister Mother Earth" pointing to his generous mother, source of abundance and natural wealth, and giving an image of the peaceful and harmonious world thanks to the brotherhood of all creatures and the natural elements.
In the Jewish-Christian tradition, a fruitful and positive image of mother earth is transmitted, thereby motivating the religious view of materiality and corporeality that deeply mark the relationship between the faces of humanity and of the earth.
But the face of nature is not always benign and in its long history mankind has had to defend itself from disasters and catastrophes of natural origin.
Nevertheless, the worst calamity that still afflicts us – the lack of food and water to keep alive all the inhabitants of the planet – is not due to the "malignant" face of the earth.
Pope Francis, at the inauguration of Expo, addressed to all a heartfelt appeal for the recovery of a "conscience of the faces", beginning with "the faces of the millions of people who today are hungry, who today do not eat in a way which is worthy of humanity". Then he denounced the "paradox of abundance", so while the earth, which is always our mother and sister, continues to offer enough food and water for all, we witness the scandal of hunger and malnutrition of entire populations, caused not from lack of food, but from an unfair and unequal distribution of natural resources.
Card. Gianfranco Ravasi, Nicolas Hulot and Giuliano Amato, moderated by Monica Maggioni, will speak about this at Expo on June 11.