The Vatican has announced that the Pope will return to Assisi in September for the closing day of a gathering of religious leader, aimed at promoting dialogue and peace.
It will be his second visit to the birthplace of his namesake in two months, after his ‘private pilgrimage’to Assisi’s Porziuncula Chapel on 4 August.
The upcoming visit will form part of a three-day peace conference organised by the Diocese of Assisi, the Franciscans, and the Sant’Egidio lay community. According to the conference website, “the meeting intends to meet the challenges of the contemporary world through sincere and positive dialogue, to create a climate of trust, respect and cooperation, so precious to building a better future for humanity.” This year’s conference marks the thirty-year anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Peace, instituted in Assisi by St. Pope John Paul II.
The conference will comprise panels on “emerging issues of interreligious dialogue and of justice and peace”. Discussions will cover topics such as on ‘Religion and Violence’, ‘Modern-Day Martyrs’, ‘Muslims and Christians: Together for Peace’, ‘Women and Peace’ and ‘Emigration and Welcome’. On the final day, when Pope Francis will be visiting, there will be a ceremony in the town square, where participants will sign a joint appeal for peace.