Pope Francis encourages forgiveness and love in visit to Verona

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The pope also spoke of the ”genius of Shakespeare” the playwright who set his famous Romeo and Juliet play in Verona.

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Pope Francis was in Verona to chair the ‘Arena of Peace’ event held in the ancient Roman amphitheatre. Thousands of people converged on the medieval city to see the pontiff who first met with the city’s deacons, priests, and consecrated men and women.

As they gathered in what the Pope described as one of Italy’s most beautiful Romanesque Basilicas, the Basilica of Saint Zeno, Francis said that the architecture reminded him of a boat, and that together they were part of the boat of the Lord ”navigating the seas of history to spread the joy of the Gospel”.

 He urged ordinary people to take the cause of peace into their own hands, instead of waiting on world leaders.

He also fielded an array of questions from people involved in discussions focussed on themes ranging from migration and the economy, to the environment and disarmament.

Additional sources • Vatican News

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