The meeting in Assisi, St. Francis’ hometown, will be a private one during which Pope Francis will share moments of listening and prayer with about 500 people from all over Europe in preparation for the World Day of the Poor on 14 November.
That World Day was wanted by the Pope to raise awareness and call on all men and women to listen to the cry of the poor. The theme of this year’s celebration is from the Gospel of Mark: “The poor you will always have with you.”
He established it in his Apostolic Letter, Misericordia et Misera, issued on 20 November 2016 to celebrate the end of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.
In its press release for the event, the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization explains that the Pope will travel privately to the little town in the heart of Italy’s Umbria region, and will meet with a group of poor people from across Europe in the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels.
This will be Pope Francis’ fifth visit to Assisi. He traveled there on 4 October 2013; on 4 August 2016, to mark the eighth centenary of the Pardon of Assisi; on 20 September 2016, for the World Day of Prayer for Peace; and on 3 October 2020, for the signing of the encyclical Fratelli tutti.