Pope Francis will visit the Community of Sant'Egidio on Sunday 15 June at a meeting dedicated essentially to the poor, who are "at the heart of the Gospel of Jesus" and constitute a fundamental commitment of the Community as friendship as service.
The pope will arrive at Trastevere at 16.30-16.45, accompanied by prof. Andrea Riccardi. He will walk through Santa Maria in Trastevere Square meeting the faithful and listening to their greetings. In the Basilica he will pay tribute to the icon of Our Lady of Mercy, the oldest existing wooden image of Mary in Rome; then he will listen to significant testimonies and will address a speech to the faithful. Then, there will be a moment of prayer.
After leaving the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, Pope Francis will walk to the headquarters of the Community at Sant'Egidio Square, where he will meet the people responsible for the Community, some bishops, priests and seminarians, the sick and other groups of people.
In the Community of Sant'Egidio the service to the poor has been present from the beginning and has diversified over the years to meet the new requirements that gradually arose: Schools of Peace, the homeless, the migrants, the "new Europeans", the refugees, the Roma and Sinti, the disabled, the elderly living alone. In Rome - as in all Sant’Egidio communities in the world - the poor are at the centre of our care and listening, and are true family members of the Community. The Christmas Lunch with the poor is an initiative that every year involves tens of thousands of people in the world. With these encounters, Francis Pope will have firsthand experience of these situations in his visit to the Community of Sant'Egidio.