Pope to celebrate founding of Sant’ Egidio, visit memorial for witnesses to the faith

.- The Vatican announced today that Pope Benedict will pay a visit on April 7 to a memorial dedicated to witnesses of the faith of the 20th and 21st centuries. 

The visit to the memorial, which is located in the Basilica of St. Bartholomew on Rome's Isola Tiberina, will take place on Monday at 5.20 p.m. Rome time.

This visit is intended to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Sant' Egidio Community, which Servant of God John Paul II entrusted with the construction of the memorial in the basilica.

The Sant'Egidio Community explains that the Basilica of St. Bartholomew is "one of the oldest places of worship in the capital. It contains memorials and relics of many witnesses of our time, from Bishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, to Cardinal Posadas Ocampo who was killed by drug traffickers at the airport in Guadalajara, Mexico; from the evangelical pastor Paul Schneider ... who opposed Nazism as a contentious objector and witness of the faith, to Fr. Andrea Santoro, a Roman priest killed recently in Trabzon, Turkey".

According to the Sant'Egidio community’s website, they are currently present in over 70 countries around the world and have around 50,000 members. Their community emphasizes prayer, service to the poorest of the poor, efforts to promote peace and reconciliation and a commitment to fostering ecumenical dialogue between believers of different religious traditions.

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