Currents News Staff
To commemorate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Pope Francis hosted indigenous representatives from the Amazon region in the Vatican Gardens.
With dances to mark the start of the meeting, the indigenous visitors gave various presents to Pope Francis.
Event organizers then stepped in to explain the significance of the ceremony, their emotion visible as they spoke of what they expect for the upcoming synod: “New ways — to make a Church that is our companion, friend, that listens to us.”
They left tapestries on the grass. On them, the faces of religious people murdered in Brazil for denouncing abuse suffered by indigenous populations.
Pope Francis wanted to sit among the cardinals present rather than in the seat of honor, where throughout the ceremony he maintained a profound attitude of recollection.
“Praise be to You, Lord, for the delicate strokes of Your Creation in expressing the connection between each and every thing created on the face of the earth,” prayed Maurico López, the Executive Secretary of the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network.
As religious sang St. Francis’s Song of the Creatures, the Holy Father planted a tree from Assisi in — the land of St. Francis — in the garden.
At the end, the pontiff prayed the Our Father to close the meeting. It was his last meeting before the Synod, which will open on Sunday, October 6 and last until the end of the month.