CNA Staff, Oct 3, 2020 / 07:45 am
Pope Francis signed his new encyclical, Fratelli tutti, Saturday during a visit to Assisi.
In his first official trip outside Rome since the pandemic struck Italy, the pope celebrated Mass at the tomb of his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi.
“Fratelli tutti,” the encyclical’s opening words, means “All brothers” in Italian. The phrase is taken from the writings of St. Francis, one of the major inspirations for Pope Francis’ third encyclical, on fraternity and social friendship. The text will be released Oct. 4, St. Francis’ feast day.
The pope stopped off en route to Assisi to visit a community of cloistered Poor Clares in the Umbrian town of Spello. It was his second private visit to the community, following a surprise trip in January 2019.
Members of the Poor Clares of Santa Maria di Vallegloria visited Francis at the Vatican in August 2016, when he presented them with the apostolic constitution Vultum Dei quaerere, outlining new norms for women’s cloistered communities.
The pope arrived in a rainswept Assisi on Saturday afternoon, making a brief stop to greet another community of Poor Clares in the town, according to ACI Stampa, CNA’s Italian-language news partner.
He then celebrated Mass at the tomb of St. Francis in Assisi in the Basilica of St. Francis. ACI Stampa reported that those present included religious representing various branches of the Franciscans, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, pontifical legate for the Basilicas of St. Francis and St. Mary of the Angels in Assisi, local Bishop Domenico Sorrentino, and Stefania Proietti, Assisi’s mayor.