Trieste (Italy). On 7 July 2024, Pope Francis arrived in Trieste, capital of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, for a short Pastoral Visit on the closing day of the 50th Social Week of Catholics in Italy, the appointment of the Italian Episcopal Conference on the theme, “At the heart of democracy. Participating between history and future”.

“A Week for which we, the Church of Trieste, have prepared for a whole year in welcoming, studying, reflecting, and sharing the contents”, says Sister Francesca Giachetto, Animator of Mary Help of Christians Community of the Triveneta Province St. Mary D. Mazzarello (ITV).

“What happened in these days has not caught us by surprise and was not only the result of enthusiasm, but responsibly and conscientiously we are immersed ourselves in delicate and wounded issues, involving everyone as citizens and as Catholics. The meeting with Pope Francis sealed a commitment, renewed the desire to be involved in the life of the people, and to be touched by the wounds of the body of Jesus. He reminded us that everyone must feel part of a community project and that ties are strengthened only if one is involved.”

After the intervention at the closing session of the Week, at the Congress Center “Generali Convention Center”, the Holy Father reached Piazza Unità d’Italia for the Eucharistic celebration concelebrated by Card. Matteo Maria Zuppi, Archbishop of Bologna and President of the Italian Episcopal Conference; by Msgr. Luigi Renna, Archbishop of Catania and President of the Organizing Committee of the Social Weeks; and by Msgr. Enrico Trevisi, Bishop of Trieste, together with 98 Bishops and 260 Priests. Also present were Bishops and Pastors of the Serbian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, and Lutheran Churches, with about 8,500 of the faithful.

“In Piazza Unità, very beautiful and sunny and crowded with people, we really felt like the people of God who must learn to walk better together without leaving anyone behind,” recalls Sister Francesca. Everyone attended the Celebration, including the prisoners of the House ‘Ernesto Mari’ represented by two white mosaics with gold drawings in Byzantine style, made by a group of recluse persons to decorate the altar and ambo set up in the Square.

In his homily Pope Francis, commenting on the readings of Sunday, quoted the poet from Trieste, Umberto Saba, inviting to recognize the presence of the Lord in the least, in the forgotten, in the discarded of the city, without being scandalized, and encouraging fraternity:

“Brothers and sisters, from this city of Trieste, facing Europe, a crossroads of peoples and cultures, a frontier land, let us nourish the dream of a new civilization founded on peace and fraternity. Please, let us not be scandalized by Jesus but, on the contrary, let us be indignant at all those situations in which life is degraded, wounded, killed. Let us carry the prophecy of the Gospel in our flesh, with our choices even before than with words. That is consistency between choices and words.

And to this Church of Trieste, I would say: Go forward! Go Forward! Continue to work in the forefront to spread the Gospel of hope, especially to those arriving from the Balkan route and to all those who, in body or spirit, need to be encouraged and consoled. Let us work together so that by rediscovering ourselves loved by the Father we can live as brothers and sisters. All brothers and sisters, with that smile of welcome and peace of soul”.

An FMA of the Community writes, “In these days, I have breathed a Church truly engaged in many areas of society with an evangelical style of attention to the least. In particular this morning, during the Eucharistic Celebration with the presence and words of the Holy Father I have lived in a very clear and incisive way the invitation to ‘scandalize’ local conformist and secular society with the consistent witness of life and faith that knows how to ‘stoop’ to meet those on the margins of the same for various reasons, to caress and regenerate the ‘wounds’ of the soul of those who are at the crossroads of life, physical or existential”.

At the end of the celebration, Bishop Enrico Trevisi thanked the Pope on behalf of the local Church, giving him an image of Our Lady of Health and entrusting him to her. “Trieste is a secular city but still knows how to give the joy of venerating Mary in the many churches dedicated to her. And at Mary’s school, we commit ourselves to watch over the most vulnerable brothers and sisters, to accompany them in their hardships.”

“I am particularly impressed by the conclusion of our Bishop who brought to the Pope the greetings and affection of many people of our Diocese, not labeling them by categories but calling them by name with a humanity and a sense of closeness that alone can move to true participation,” underlines Sister Francesca.

He ends by recalling the value of the experience. “For our Community this Week has been an immense gift, because it has given us the opportunity to open the doors to different participants who in one way or another have intertwined their lives and their passion with ours. It is a sharing of knowledge and a search for the good that always broadens hearts.

Together with the formators and the students of the various Ciofs/FP of Italy, we held a banquet of good practices on our educational enterprises, a beautiful and propitious moment to know how much good other realities also do, to share knowledge, and to launch young people in experiencing what they know how to do.”

The young university students also participated in the Social Week as volunteers, working at every event and every corner of the city. One of them writes:

“For me, these days were full of grace; putting myself at the service of my neighbor made me live personally the true and intrinsic meaning of this sentence, ‘you have more joy in giving than in receiving’. Moreover, to have the opportunity to meet many people from all over Italy who share the same faith in Christ was a great gift. I am grateful to the Lord for these marvelous days”.


  1. FATE IN MODO CHE, OGNI GIORNO, QUALCUNO SIA CONTENTO DI AVERVI INCONTRATI… GRAZIE Papa Francesco per la Sua Semplicità, Cordialità, Empatia, Considerazione per Tutti (si potrebbe avere la dolcissima immagine della Madonna della Salute che Le è stata offerta a Trieste?! GRAZIE)


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