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Pope Francis with ecumenical leaders at last year’s Vespers for the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Vatican Media)

Pope Francis has announced an Ecumenical Prayer Vigil will be held in September prior to the first assembly of the Synod of Bishops on Synodality, so as to entrust the bishops’ work to the Lord. Source: Vatican News.

Addressing the faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis looked ahead to the traditional Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which takes place each year from January 18 to 25.

This year’s theme, he noted, is taken from the prophet Isaiah: “Do good, seek justice” (1:17). In light of this, Pope Francis asked that the faithful each give thanks to the Lord “who faithfully and patiently guides His people towards full communion and let us ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten and sustain us with His gifts”.

Pope Francis went on to note that the path to Christian unity and the Church’s synodal conversion are linked.

For this reason, he announced an Ecumenical Prayer Vigil, set to take place in St Peter’s Square on Saturday, September 30.

At the Vigil, he explained, “we will entrust to God the work of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops”. The Pope added that for the young people who will come to the Vigil, there will be a special program throughout that weekend, organised by the Taizé Community.

“As of now”, the Pope concluded, “I invite brothers and sisters of all Christian denominations to participate in this gathering of the People of God.”

Meanwhile, during his Angelus address on Sunday, Pope Francis encouraged Christians to cultivate the virtue of knowing “how to step aside” in order to bear witness to Jesus, as St. John the Baptist did.


Pope announces Ecumenical Prayer Vigil for Synod (Vatican News)