DAY OF REFLECTION, DIALOGUE AND PRAYER IN ASSISI
VATICAN CITY, 2 APR 2011 (VIS) – The Holy See Press Office today published
the following English-language communique:
“On 1 January 2011, after the Angelus, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he
wished to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the historic meeting
that took place in Assisi on 27 October 1986, at the wish of the Venerable
Servant of God John Paul II. On the day of the anniversary, 27 October this
year, the Holy Father intends to hold a ‘Day of reflection, dialogue and
prayer for peace and justice in the world’, making a pilgrimage to the home
of St. Francis and inviting fellow Christians from different denominations,
representatives of the world’s religious traditions and, in some sense, all
men and women of good will, to join him once again on this journey.
“The Day will take as its theme: ‘Pilgrims of truth, pilgrims of peace’.
Every human being is ultimately a pilgrim in search of truth and goodness.
Believers too are constantly journeying towards God: hence the possibility,
indeed the necessity, of speaking and entering into dialogue with everyone,
believers and unbelievers alike, without sacrificing one’s own identity or
indulging in forms of syncretism. To the extent that the pilgrimage of truth
is authentically lived, it opens the path to dialogue with the other, it
excludes no-one and it commits everyone to be a builder of fraternity and
peace. These are the elements that the Holy Father wishes to place at the
centre of reflection.
“For this reason, as well as representatives of Christian communities and
of the principal religious traditions, some figures from the world of
culture and science will be invited to share the journey – people who, while
not professing to be religious, regard themselves as seekers of the truth
and are conscious of a shared responsibility for the cause of justice and
peace in this world of ours”.
The communique affirms that “the delegations will set off from Rome by
train on the morning of 27 October, together with the Holy Father. Upon
arrival in Assisi, they will make their way to the Basilica of Santa Maria
degli Angeli, where the previous meetings will be recalled and the theme of
the Day will be explored in greater depth. Leaders of some of the
delegations present will make speeches and the Holy Father will likewise
deliver an address”.
There will then be a simple lunch, followed by a moment of silence for
individual reflection and prayer. Later, all those present in Assisi will
make a “pilgrimage” to the Basilica of Saint Francis, “in silence, leaving
room for personal meditation and prayer”. The final part of the Day will
include “a solemn renewal of the joint commitment to peace”.
“In preparation for this Day, Pope Benedict XVI will preside over a prayer
vigil at St. Peter’s the previous evening, together with the faithful of the
diocese of Rome. Particular Churches and communities throughout the world
are invited to organise similar times of prayer”.
The communique concludes by highlighting that “the Pope asks the Catholic
faithful to join him in praying for the celebration of this important event
and he is grateful to all those who will be able to be present in St.
Francis’ home town to share this spiritual pilgrimage”.