POPE’S NOVEMBER PRAYER INTENTION: FOR DIALOGUE IN MIDDLE EAST – POPE FRANCIS ON ST. PAUL PREACHING IN ATHENS

FYI:
On Sunday November 10, 2019 at 16.30 in the Cathedral of San Pietro Apostolo in Frascati (Rome) there will be the closing ceremony of the diocesan phase of the cause of beatification and canonization of the Servant of God Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement. The ceremony will be presided by the Bishop of Frascati, Mons. Raffaello Martinelli. Maria Voce, president of the Focolare Movement will be present.

If by any chance you have plans to be in Lucerne, Switzerland between November 7 and the 10th, you will have an opportunity to meet two Swiss Guards according to a communique today from their Vatican headquarters: “For the first time, the Pontifical Swiss Guard will have its own stand at the Central Switzerland Education Fair in Lucerne from Thursday November 7 to Sunday the 10th. During the training fair in Lucerne, two active guards will be present in uniform at Stand D 2099, in Hall 2, next to the Lucerne Police. They will present the job of the Pontifical Swiss Guard and will gladly answer the questions of interested visitors.”

As I read today’s general audience catechesis I could not help but think this sounds like what is needed in the Amazon vis a vis evangelization. I know it sounds like over-simplification but do we need thousands of words to describe evangelization? I know the Amazon region also need priests but perhaps the seminaries should be open to indigenous males. If you recall Pope Francis’ closing words at the final meeting of the Amazon synod participants, he said: “There was talk, very forceful, of indigenous Seminaries. I thank Cardinal O’Malley for his courage in this because he put his finger on the sore in something that is a real social injustice, which is, in fact, the Indians are not allowed to go on the seminarian path and on the path of the priesthood.”

That was a stunning affirmation that no one seems to have made note of! I was breathless when I read that sentence and spoke about it on October 30 with Teresa Tomeo on “Catholic Connection” and am looking into this situation to find out why and when the cardinal made his remarks (I do not recall this being highlighted at Vatican press briefings) and to look into regional seminaries.

POPE’S NOVEMBER PRAYER INTENTION: FOR DIALOGUE IN MIDDLE EAST

As he does the first days of each month, Pope Francis released a video message with his prayer intention for November 2019 in which he invites us to pray that, “a spirit of dialogue, encounter, and reconciliation emerge in the Middle East.”

Francis speaks in Spanish as a video is shown with English subtitles.

Following is the full text:
In the Middle East, concord and dialogue among the three monotheistic religions is based on spiritual and historic bonds. The Good News of Jesus, risen out of love, came to us from these lands. Today, many Christian communities, together with Jewish and Muslim communities, work here for peace, reconciliation, and forgiveness. Let us pray that a spirit of dialogue, encounter, and reconciliation emerge in the Middle East.

The prayer intentions and videos are prepared by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer.

Click here to see video and text: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-11/pope-francis-november-prayer-intention-for-middle-east.html

POPE FRANCIS ON ST. PAUL PREACHING IN ATHENS

As he has done for weeks now, Pope Francis today continued his weekly general audience catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles, focusing on St. Paul who, in his myriad travels, preached in Athens, seeking to explain the Gospel to non-believers.

“Dear brothers and sisters,” began Pope Francis as he addressed pilgrims who sat through rain and then very blue skies in St. Peter’s Square. “In our catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles, we now see the Apostle Paul preaching before the Areopagus in Athens, the cultural capital of the pagan world. In a city filled with idols, Paul proclaims the Gospel by appealing to the religiosity of his hearers and their desire to know the truth.”

The Holy Father explained that, “Seeing an altar dedicated to an ‘unknown god’, Paul states that God, the transcendent Creator of the world, has indeed made himself known, and sent his Son among us to call all people to conversion and the fullness of truth.”

“Yet,” he emphasized, “when Paul begins to speak of Christ’s death and resurrection, his listeners lose interest. The mystery of the cross, in which God’s wisdom and power are revealed, appears as folly in the eyes of the Greeks. Yet Paul’s preaching bears fruit in the conversion of some Athenians, including Dionysius the Areopagite and Damaris.”

Francis told the faithful, “As we think of our own culture, may we, like Paul, be sensitive to people’s deepest yearnings in order to propose the mystery of Christ and his saving love.”

POPE’S OCTOBER PRAYER INTENTION: FOR A MISSIONARY “SPRING” IN THE CHURCH

At 6.00 pm this evening in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis will preside at Vespers for the beginning of the missionary month that is traditionally October. The celebration will be introduced by a missionary Vigil and listening to testimonies from the missionary world starting at 5.15 pm.

Starting today, the Church this month celebrates an “Extraordinary Missionary Month,” that was announced by the Pope himself at the Angelus of October 22, 2017 with these words: “It is my intention to promote an Extraordinary Missionary Month in October 2019, in order to nourish the ardor of the evangelizing activity of the Church ad gentes. On the day of the liturgical memorial of St. John Paul II, the missionary Pope, we entrust to his intercession the mission of the Church in the world.”

POPE’S OCTOBER PRAYER INTENTION: FOR A MISSIONARY “SPRING” IN THE CHURCH

Pope Francis released a video message accompanying his prayer intention for October, which is that the breath of the Holy Spirit engender a new missionary spring in the Church.

(vaticannews)

In his prayer intention for the month of October 2019, Pope Francis invites us to pray that, “politicians, scientists and economists work together to protect the world’s seas and oceans.”

It has become the custom of Pope Francis to release a video message detailing his prayer intention for each month.

The full text of his intention follows:

Today, a new impulse to the Church’s missionary activity is needed to face the challenge of proclaiming Jesus and his death and resurrection. Reaching the peripheries – the human, cultural, and religious settings still foreign to the Gospel: this is what we call the “missio ad gentes”. We must also remember that the heart of the Church’s mission is prayer. In this Extraordinary Missionary Month, let us pray that the Holy Spirit may engender a new missionary “spring” for all those baptized and sent by Christ’s Church,

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer developed “The Pope Video” initiative to assist in the worldwide dissemination of monthly intentions of the Holy Father in relation to the challenges facing humanity.

TO SEE THE VIDEO: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-10/pope-prayer-intention-october-missionary-month.html

UPDATE ON SUMMER VATICAN MUSEUM VISITS TO CASTELGANDOLFO – POPE’S AUGUST PRAYER INTENTION: FOR FAMILIES

UPDATE ON SUMMER VATICAN MUSEUM VISITS TO CASTELGANDOLFO

If anyone reading this column has reserved for August 3 (this weekend) the Vatican Museums’ visit to Castelgandolfo and the papal residence that takes place on Saturdays throughout the year, the Museums have issued the following notice (obviously this refers to any tourists who still wants to reserve this special visit in August):

“For extraordinary summer maintenance work on the Ciampino-Albano Laziale railway line (vice versa) – and in order to cause the least inconvenience to visitors, the Vatican Museums’ “Vatican by Train” initiative has arranged for a private substitute shuttle service dedicated to visitors who reserved the visit in lieu of scheduled train service on the following Saturdays: August 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31. This visit, whose destination is the papal villas in Castelgandolfo, normally starts with departures from the Vatican City train station and from the Roma San Pietro. On the above dates busses will substitute the trains.”

If you can manage to have your Rome itinerary include a Saturday, be sure to reserve for this special trip. I have done it and it is a full day but a lot of fun and a real beautiful experience – the Castelli Romani hills towns, the papal residence and gardens, Lake Albano, an extinct volcano, etc. (JFL photos)

For anything related to the Vatican Museums, go to the OFFICIAL website: http://www.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani/en.html

For the Saturday Castelgandolfo visit: http://www.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani/en/visita-i-musei/scegli-la-visita/ville-pontificie-e-giardini/ville-pontificie-di-castel-gandolfo.html

Do not Google “Vatican Museums” and get some tour group or website that will charge you a higher price than the Museums do. After all, they have to make a profit. Go straight to the official site!

POPE’S AUGUST PRAYER INTENTION: FOR FAMILIES

Pope Francis has released a video message accompanying his prayer intention for August, which is that families may become “schools of true human development”.

In his prayer intention for the month of August 2019, Pope Francis invites us to pray that, “families, through their life of prayer and love, become ever more clearly schools of true human development.”

It has become the custom of Pope Francis to release a video message detailing his prayer intention for each month.

The full text of his intention is below:
What kind of world do we want to leave for the future?
Let us leave a world with families.
Let us care for our families, because they are true schools for the future, spaces of freedom, and centers of humanity.
And let us reserve a special place in our families for individual and communal prayer.
Let us pray that families, through their life of prayer and love, become ever more clearly “schools of true human development”.

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer developed “The Pope Video” initiative to assist in the worldwide dissemination of monthly intentions of the Holy Father in relation to the challenges facing humanity.

Click here to see the August papal video: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-08/pope-francis-july-prayer-intention-families0.html#play

POPE FRANCIS “GRATEFUL” FOR COURAGE OF D-DAY SOLDIERS – JUNE PRAYER INTENTION: PRIESTS’ SOLIDARITY WITH THE POOR

I am back in Rome, well, safe and happy, after an astonishing week in my native Chicago and at my alma mater, St. Mary’s of Notre Dame, Indiana. Memories are as alive now as the events were when they occurred – not only the Alumna Achievement Award ceremony at SMC with friends and family but celebratory meals and visits with great friends in Chicago.

My June calendar has filled up rapidly in the past day or two so now a good night’s sleep is on my agenda in order to be ready to go for those events, receptions, parish meetings.

Heartfelt apologies, by the way, to those of you who look forward to getting “Joan’s Rome” in your daily email. I was silent on these pages during my travels but, as usual, I did post a few things on my Facebook page. It’s good to be back with you. Now I’m about to work on this week’s edition of “Vatican Insider.”

POPE FRANCIS “GRATEFUL” FOR COURAGE OF D-DAY SOLDIERS

As world leaders and veterans commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Allied D-Day landings in Europe, Pope Francis expressed his appreciation for the courage of soldiers who committed themselves to fighting for freedom and peace.

By Devin Watkins (vaticannews)

Pope Francis sent his gratitude to the soldiers who fought in World War II, in a message read out at Mass by Bishop Jean-Claude Boulanger of Bayeux-Lisieux, France. (Vatican photo)

The Holy Father said the Allied landings on June 6, 1944 in Normandy and elsewhere in Europe were “decisive in the fight against Nazi barbarism.”

He said the campaign “opened the path to end World War II, which has so deeply wounded Europe and the world.”

Gratitude
The Pope said he was grateful to the many soldiers who “had the courage to commit themselves and give their lives for freedom and peace.”

He also prayed for the souls of all the fallen soldiers and the millions who died in the war.

Pope Francis expressed his hope that the 75th commemoration of D-Day would allow all generations around the world to recognize that “peace is based on respect for each person, whatever his or her background, on respect for the law and the common good, on respect for the environment entrusted to our care and for the richness of the moral tradition inherited from past generations.”

JUNE PRAYER INTENTION: PRIESTS’ SOLIDARITY WITH THE POOR

Pope Francis released a video message accompanying his prayer intention for June, which is that priests may commit themselves to “solidarity with those who are most poor.” In that message, the Pope calls us to pray that priests, “through the modesty and humility of their lives, commit themselves actively, above all, to solidarity with those who are most poor.”

Following is the full text of that message:

“I would like to ask you to look at the priests who work in our communities.
They are not perfect, but many give it their all until the very end, offering themselves with humility and joy. They are priests who are close to the people, ready to work hard for everyone. Let us be thankful for their example and testimony. Let us pray that priests, through the modesty and humility of their lives, commit themselves actively, above all, to solidarity with those who are most poor.”

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer developed “The Pope Video” initiative to assist in the worldwide dissemination of monthly intentions of the Holy Father in relation to the challenges facing humanity. (vaticannews)

For video: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-06/pope-francis-prayer-intention-june-2019.html#play

VATICAN INSIDER VISITS CATHOLIC EXTENSION – PAPAL TELEGRAM FOR LOSS OF LIFE IN NEPAL – APRIL PRAYER INTENTION FOR MEDICAL PERSONNEL IN CONFLICT ZONES – CARDINAL PAROLIN MEETS PEOPLE WORKING AGAINST CRIMINALIZATION OF HOMOSEXUALITY

In his only appointment for the day, Pope Francis this morning attended the 4th Lenten sermon given by preacher of the papal household, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa.

VATICAN INSIDER VISITS CATHOLIC EXTENSION

Tune in to Vatican Insider on this first weekend of April when my guest in the interview segment is Joe Boland, Vice President of Mission at Chicago-based Catholic Extension. In a nutshell, Catholic Extension’s mission is to provide funding to help the Catholic Church grow in poor mission dioceses by investing in people, infrastructures and ministries. It is a wonderful, vibrant organization and I learned a lot – as you will! – when I spoke with Joe.

As I learned on its website, in 1907, Catholic Extension received its first papal approval by an Apostolic Letter of Pope Pius X. In 1910, the Pope raised Catholic Extension to the dignity of a canonical institution directly under his own guidance and protection. As a Papal Society, Catholic Extension’s president is appointed by the Pope himself. The current president is a native Chicagoan, Fr. Jack Wall. He was named in 2007 by Pope Benedict, (www.catholicextension.org)

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at http://www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on http://www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/audio-library/index.asp (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

PAPAL TELEGRAM FOR LOSS OF LIFE IN NEPAL

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, secretary of State, sent the following telegram of condolences in Pope Francis’ name to Bishop Paul Simick of the Vicariate of Nepal: “Upon learning the sad news of the tragic loss of life and the destruction of homes caused by the recent storm in southern Nepal, His Holiness Pope Francis wishes to express his solidarity with all affected by this disaster and assures those grieving for deceased and injured family members of his prayers at this difficult time. His Holiness prays especially for the victims and encourages the emergency personnel as they continue to aid those in need. Upon all the people of Nepal Pope Francis invokes the divine blessings of consolation, healing and strength.”

APRIL PRAYER INTENTION FOR MEDICAL PERSONNEL IN CONFLICT ZONES

The Vatican has released Pope Francis’ video message with his prayer intention for April which is for doctors and their humanitarian collaborators in conflict zones.

Following is the English translation of his April video message: “The presence of doctors, nurses, and other health care workers in war-torn areas is a sign of hope. They are wise, valiant, and good-hearted people who, following their vocation, work under extremely dangerous conditions. Let us pray for doctors and their humanitarian collaborators in war-torn areas, who risk their lives to save the lives of others.”

April’s video (click here: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-04/pope-francis-prayer-intention-april-2019.html#play) is prepared by the Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer.

CARDINAL PAROLIN MEETS PEOPLE WORKING AGAINST CRIMINALIZATION OF HOMOSEXUALITY

Responding to questions from journalists, interim director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, stated on Friday: “Today in the Vatican, Cardinal Pietro Parolin received a group of approximately 50 persons working in various ways against the criminalization of homosexuality. During the meeting, research on the criminalization of homosexual relationships in the Caribbean was presented to the Vatican Secretary of State.

“Cardinal Parolin extended a brief greeting to those present, repeating the Catholic Church’s position in defense of the dignity of every human person and against every form of violence. After having listened to the presentations of some of the participants at the meeting, Cardinal Parolin then assured that he would inform the Holy Father of the contents of the research.”

VATICAN INSIDER VISITS CATHOLIC EXTENSION – PAPAL TELEGRAM FOR LOSS OF LIFE IN NEPAL – APRIL PRAYER INTENTION FOR MEDICAL PERSONNEL IN CONFLICT ZONES – CARDINAL PAROLIN MEETS PEOPLE WORKING AGAINST CRIMINALIZATION OF HOMOSEXUALITY

In his only appointment for the day, Pope Francis this morning attended the 4th Lenten sermon given by preacher of the papal household, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa.

VATICAN INSIDER VISITS CATHOLIC EXTENSION

Tune in to Vatican Insider on this first weekend of April when my guest in the interview segment is Joe Boland, Vice President of Mission at Chicago-based Catholic Extension. In a nutshell, Catholic Extension’s mission is to provide funding to help the Catholic Church grow in poor mission dioceses by investing in people, infrastructures and ministries. It is a wonderful, vibrant organization and I learned a lot – as you will! – when I spoke with Joe.

As I learned on its website, in 1907, Catholic Extension received its first papal approval by an Apostolic Letter of Pope Pius X. In 1910, the Pope raised Catholic Extension to the dignity of a canonical institution directly under his own guidance and protection. As a Papal Society, Catholic Extension’s president is appointed by the Pope himself. The current president is a native Chicagoan, Fr. Jack Wall. He was named in 2007 by Pope Benedict, (www.catholicextension.org)

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at http://www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on http://www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/audio-library/index.asp (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

PAPAL TELEGRAM FOR LOSS OF LIFE IN NEPAL

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, secretary of State, sent the following telegram of condolences in Pope Francis’ name to Bishop Paul Simick of the Vicariate of Nepal: “Upon learning the sad news of the tragic loss of life and the destruction of homes caused by the recent storm in southern Nepal, His Holiness Pope Francis wishes to express his solidarity with all affected by this disaster and assures those grieving for deceased and injured family members of his prayers at this difficult time. His Holiness prays especially for the victims and encourages the emergency personnel as they continue to aid those in need. Upon all the people of Nepal Pope Francis invokes the divine blessings of consolation, healing and strength.”

APRIL PRAYER INTENTION FOR MEDICAL PERSONNEL IN CONFLICT ZONES

The Vatican has released Pope Francis’ video message with his prayer intention for April which is for doctors and their humanitarian collaborators in conflict zones.

The Holy Father calls on the faithful to pray for doctors and their humanitarian collaborators in war-torn areas as they risk their lives to save the lives of others.

Following is the English translation of his April video message: “The presence of doctors, nurses, and other health care workers in war-torn areas is a sign of hope. They are wise, valiant, and good-hearted people who, following their vocation, work under extremely dangerous conditions. Let us pray for doctors and their humanitarian collaborators in war-torn areas, who risk their lives to save the lives of others.”

April’s video (click here: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-04/pope-francis-prayer-intention-april-2019.html#play) is prepared by the Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer.

CARDINAL PAROLIN MEETS PEOPLE WORKING AGAINST CRIMINALIZATION OF HOMOSEXUALITY

Responding to questions from journalists, interim director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, stated on Friday: “Today in the Vatican, Cardinal Pietro Parolin received a group of approximately 50 persons working in various ways against the criminalization of homosexuality. During the meeting, research on the criminalization of homosexual relationships in the Caribbean was presented to the Vatican Secretary of State.

“Cardinal Parolin extended a brief greeting to those present, repeating the Catholic Church’s position in defense of the dignity of every human person and against every form of violence. After having listened to the presentations of some of the participants at the meeting, Cardinal Parolin then assured that he would inform the Holy Father of the contents of the research.”

LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION…. – POPE’S DECEMBER PRAYER INTENTION: IN THE SERVICE OF THE TRANSMISSION OF FAITH – POPE FRANCIS TO VISIT THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES IN FEBRUARY

LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION….

As you know, Pope Francis started a new catechesis at his weekly general audiences, focussing on the Lord’s Prayer, the Our Father, after discussing the Ten Commandments.

It will be interesting to follow these catecheses as I’m sure the Holy Father will parse each phrase of the prayer, also known as the Prayer of Seven Petitions, studying and explaining one phrase at a time. He did this with several of the Ten Commandments and on other, similar occasions.

Based on a number of rumors I’ve heard and articles I’ve seen, the most interesting phrase the Pope would explain may well be “lead us not into temptation.”

Vaticanista Sandro Magister, in a post today on his “Settimo Cielo” column, wrote that, in the November Italian Bishops’ plenary session, Francis “ordered them to replace the petition ‘and lead us not into temptation’ in the “Our Father” at Mass, because in his judgment it is “not a good” translation of the text of the Gospel.

He added: “The assembly was held behind closed doors, and at the end of the work only the result of the discussion was released, with the passing of the new formula: “and do not abandon us to temptation.”

It seems, writes Magister, “When the question was put to discussion in the hall, on the afternoon of Wednesday, November 14, a few bishops spoke out in defense of the traditional version, asking that it be kept alive and if anything explained better to the faithful, instead of being changed.

“In effect, the words ‘e non ci indurre in tentazione’ – on a par with the English version in use in the United States: “and lead us not into temptation” – are an exact reproduction of the Latin translation still in effect in liturgical chant: “et ne nos inducas in tentationem,” which in turn is strictly faithful to the original Greek: “kai me eisenénkes hemás eis peirasmón.”

What most interested me were Magister’s words “Francis ordered them to replace the petition ‘and lead us not into temptation’ in the “Our Father” at Mass….”

Does this mean that as we pray the Our Father outside of Mass, for example in the rosary, we can keep the traditional words, “lead us not into temptation” but that in Mass the prayer will be changed?

Stay tuned to the weekly general audiences!

POPE’S DECEMBER PRAYER INTENTION: IN THE SERVICE OF THE TRANSMISSION OF FAITH

Pope Francis on Thursday released a video message accompanying his prayer intention for December: “In the service of the transmission of faith”.
In his prayer intention for the month of December 2018, Pope Francis calls us to pray that people who are involved in the service and transmission of faith may find, in their dialogue with culture, a language suited to the conditions of the present time, in their dialogue with people’s hearts, and above all, by listening much.

The full text of his intention follows:

If you want to share your faith through the word, you have to listen much and carefully.
Let us imitate the style of Jesus, who adapted himself to the people He had in front of Him so as to bring God’s love to them.
Let us pray that people, who are involved in the service and transmission of faith, may find, in their dialogue with culture, a language suited to the conditions of the present time, in their dialogue with people’s hearts, and above all, by listening much.

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer developed “The Pope Video” initiative to assist in the worldwide dissemination of monthly intentions of the Holy Father in relation to the challenges facing humanity.

POPE FRANCIS TO VISIT THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES IN FEBRUARY

The Vatican announced that Pope Francis is scheduled to travel to the United Arab Emirates in February to participate in an interfaith meeting.
By Linda Bordoni (vaticannews)

Pope Francis will visit Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates from 3 to 5 February 2019 to attend an interfaith meeting on “Human Fraternity”.

Greg Burke, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, said on Thursday that the visit highlights Pope Francis’ commitment to building a culture of encounter.

The theme of the visit, Burke explained, is “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace”.

“That’s the Pope’s intention in going to the United Arab Emirates. How all people of goodwill can work for peace will be a major topic on this trip” he said.

Burke added that like the Pope’s 2017 apostolic journey to Egypt, this visit “shows the fundamental importance the Holy Father gives to inter-religious dialogue”.

Pope Francis visiting the Arab world, he concluded, “is a perfect example of the culture of encounter”.

A press release published by the Vatican Press Office specified that the Pope’s visit comes in response to the invitation of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and to the invitation of the Catholic Church in the United Arab Emirates.

THEME: “MAKE ME A CHANNEL OF YOUR PEACE”
Pope Francis has taken his name from St. Francis of Assisi, a saint who has been a shining example of putting into practice the words of Jesus Christ, “Blessed are the peacemakers, they shall be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9) The peace of God heals all forms of hostility within the human person and accompanies the Good News proclaimed by Jesus Christ of a God who reconciles the world to himself. The theme, taken from the opening words of the Prayer of Peace of St. Francis, expresses our own prayer that the visit of Pope Francis to the United Arab Emirates may spread in a special way the peace of God within the hearts of all people of good will.

LOGO: The logo of the visit is a dove bearing an olive branch. The colours of the dove, white outlined in yellow, are taken from the colours of the Vatican Flag. The colours of the flag of the United Arab Emirates are incorporated into the body of the dove, symbolising the visit of the Pope to the country as a herald of peace