October 3 will be a historical day for Assisi, Italy. Not only will Pope Francis visit, but he will also sign a new encyclical!
In a statement released by Matteo Bruni, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, the encyclical is entitled Fratelli tutti—or “All Brothers” on fraternity and social friendship. This in reference to the writings of St. Francis: “Let us all, brothers, consider the Good Shepherd who to save His sheep bore the suffering of the Cross” (Admonitions, 6. 1:FF155) (Read: What Do Pope Francis and Saint Francis of Assisi Have in Common?)
The Holy Father will be in Assisi in the afternoon to celebrate Holy Mass at the Tomb of St. Francis. The signing will follow soon after.
A Celebration of Gratitude
According to Domenico Sorrentino, Bishop of Assisi, the town awaits the Pope’s visit with emotion and gratitude. “While the world is suffering a pandemic that makes so many people’s lives difficult, and makes us feel for brothers in pain, we cannot but feel the need to become above all brothers in love,” he said.
He added that the gesture of Pope Francis gives courage and strength to restart in the name of the fraternity.
Human fraternity has been an important theme for Pope Francis. In fact, on March 13, 2013, on the evening of his election to the papacy, the Pope greeted the world with the word, “brothers.”
It is a word that has always been present whenever he talks about migrants. It was also the central theme of the Pope’s visit to Abu Dhabi in 2019. And now, his signing on the Document on Human Fraternity represents the Pope’s dedication to promoting brotherly love.
As of writing, Pope Francis has two encyclicals published: the Laudato Si in 2015 and the Lumen Fidei, an encyclical that was started by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.