Women across the globe received a special greeting on Sunday from Pope Francis, who stressed the importance of their unique perspectives on the world.
“A world where women are marginalized is a sterile world,” the Pope said during his address to the crowds who had gathered in St. Peter's Square to take part in the recitation of the Angelus with the Pope.
“Not only do women carry life,” he said, “but they transmit to us the capacity to see otherwise— they see things differently.”
Women also pass on the ability to “understand the world with different eyes, to feel the most creative, most patient, most tender things with the heart.”
The Pope's words came on International Woman's Day, celebrated each year on March 8 throughout the world. To mark the occasion, the Holy Father offered his greeting to all those who “seek each day to build a more human and welcoming society.”
He also offered a “fraternal thanks” to those women who, in thousands of ways, bear witness to the Gospel and work in the Church.”
Pope Francis' remarks coincided with a conference held on Sunday at the Vatican aimed at giving a voice to those women working on the fringes of society.
The gathering, titled “Voices of Faith,” brought together various women — human rights activists, policy makers, academics -- to give witness to their work in areas of poverty and the defense of human dignity and equality.