Pope Francis reflects on the true nature of beauty during his address to a group of plastic surgeons.

By Vatican News

Pope Francis on Thursday received in audience a group of plastic surgeons and thanked them for their compassionate service, particularly in helping sick children.

The physicians present were in Rome to attend the AEXPI meeting taking place 24-25 May on the theme “When science meets beauty.”

He highlighted the fact that as men, doctors, and Christians, they respond to a calling that goes well beyond physical aesthetics.

True beauty, the Pope noted, transcends what is visible to the eye.

This beauty, he added, “is not subject to trends programmed by the business of fashion and the culture of appearance but is connected to the truth of man, to his most intimate being, which we cannot disfigure.”

Drawing from the teachings of Saint Paul, the Holy Father said our faces are meant to mirror the glory of the Lord, transforming us into His image through our actions and love. He urged the surgeons to let this profound truth guide their hands, ensuring that their work not only heals physically but also uplifts and reflects the image of God imprinted in every person.

On the one hand, the Pope continued, Jesus is described as “the most beautiful among the sons of men” (Ps 45:3). On the other, due to His suffering, He is portrayed as “marred beyond human likeness” (Is 52:14).

“Jesus,” he concluded, “shows us in this paradox his true image and ours, which passes through the path of the cross, through the acceptance of our smallness, in order to reach eternal glory, to a hope that does not disappoint or wither (1 Cor 9:25).

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