Social media accounts falsely attributed to Pope Francis a quote that is actually a Hindu proverb

CLAIM: Pope Francis said that ‘rivers do not drink their own water’


Several social media pages and accounts falsely claimed that Pope Francis had said “Rivers do not drink their own water; trees do not eat their own fruit.”

Then presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos tweeted a quote card that contains the alleged quote from the pope. It reads:

“Rivers do not drink their own water; trees do not eat their own fruit; the sun does not shine on itself and flowers do not spread their fragrance for themselves. Living for others is a rule of nature. We are all born to help each other. No matter how difficult it is….life is good when you are happy, but much better when others are happy because of you.” 

The same quote was shared by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tandag’s Facebook page in Apr. 12, 2020

The earliest claim to attribute the English quote to the pope is an article written by Gerard Conlan, OMI of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Canada, which claimed that the Pope made the statement on March 25, 2017.

However, there is no evidence that Pope Francis ever said those words.  

The website of the Holy See nor the official Twitter account of Pope Francis does not contain the alleged quote.

The pope’s speech on March 25, 2017, did not contain the quote.

The quote that was misattributed to the pope is actually from the “Subhashitas” or Hindu proverbs as can be seen in the screenshot below.

You can read the articles containing the Hindu proverb by clicking here and here.  

Both articles were posted in 2013, pre-dating the 2017 article mentioned above. Rommel F. Lopez

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