2016-03-03 11:40:00

Pope Francis blesses Torch of St. Benedict

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday blessed the Torch of St. Benedict “Pro Pace et Europa Una”, before it was taken to the city of Amsterdam, since the Netherlands currently holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The blessing took place in St. Peter's Square during the general audience.

The tradition of the pilgrimage of the Torch of Saint Benedict began in 1964, when Pope Paul VI proclaimed St. Benedict of Nursia the patron of Europe.  The torch travels to different cities each year, before returning to the great Benedictine monastery in Cassino, Italy, via a procession by foot from Norcia.

It is an honor and exciting to be here today,” said Giuseppe Golini Petrarcone, the mayor of Cassino.

The delegation also gave Pope Francis a newly published edition of the first rule of Saint Benedict.

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