Bishop of Assisi: Pope Francis brings with him the sense of the Gospel
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday travels to Assisi. It is October 4, the feast
day of St. Francis of Assisi.
Among the many stops of the Pope's intense schedule,
is the so called “Renunciation Room” or “Stripping Room” which is where Francis renounced
his worldly wealth and stripped himself of his rich clothing before Bishop Guido of
Linda Bordoni spoke to the current Bishop of Assisi, Domenico Sorrentino,
who confirmed that he personally wrote Pope Francis a letter inviting him to visit…
to the interview...
after the Pope’s nomination in March, Bishop Domenico Sorrentino says he sent him
a letter inviting him to come to Assisi. In his parcel – he reveals – he included
a small book written by himself, “Complici dello Sprito” (“Accomplices of the Spirit”),
which consists in a series of meditations on the life of St. Frances and on his relationship
with Bishop Guido of Assisi.
Bishop Sorrentino says the Pope was interested
in his writings and maybe has chosen to follow in the footsteps of St. Francis stopping
off at many of the venues mentioned in the book, like the “Renunciation Room” – or
“Stripping Room” which is inside the Bishop’s house and is where Francis renounced
his worldly riches. It is the first time in history – the Bishop explains – that a
Pope has come to this particular venue.
Bishop Sorrentino points out that although
many Popes have visited Assisi in the past, this visit is different also because “he
is the first Pope who comes here with the name of Francis. Pope Francis comes to see
the city of Francis. We could say: ‘Francis comes home!’”
But, he says, also
from the organizational perspective of the visit there are particularities. He is
not coming to visit the great basilicas that are famous across the world; he is coming
to a place like the Istituto Serafico, where we care for disabled people who are in
need of everything. This – he says – is something that is very close to the heart
of our Pope who chose the name Francis, because of his closeness to the poor and the
needy. “Pope Francis comes here to see Jesus in their lives. This choice is very important
to understand what is important in the visit”. Also the fact that he wants to have
lunch with the poor. These are the events – he says - that provide the key to this
As far as the legacy of this visit will be, Bishop Sorrentino says
he is waiting: “I am in great expectation for what he will say and what he will do”.
He says that his previous meetings with Pope Francis have led him to think “he will
give us the concrete sense of the Gospel just as St. Francis was able to give. St
Francis and the gospel are in intense relationship – St. Francis wanted to live the
gospel in a literal way, Pope Francis expresses this simple meaning of the gospel
for our days. I think this will be the message he will give to us”.