The Romanian pilgrims were the first to be greeted by Pope Francis on Sunday, at the end of the Angelus Prayer in Rome’s St. Peter’s Square.
After they passed on Friday under the Holy Door, worshiped and prayed at the tomb of Saint Peter and received the Pope’s blessing on Saturday, at the Jubilee audience, the hundreds of Romanians who came from Romania or from Italy gathered on Sunday in San Pietro under the same three-colour flag alongside their Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic bishops.
“The national pilgrimages to Rome put together, on the one hand, the communities of belief from all over the world with Holy Father, and, on the other hand, the domestic pilgrimage is in parallel encouraged. This is a personal process of deepening belief, of living it together with the others, here, in Rome,” the Metropolitan Archbishop Ioan Robu (photo), present in the square among the Romanians, next to the other bishops, told Agerpres.
He asserted that the Vatican and the Italian Roman Catholic clergy show an increasingly openness lately to the Romanians living in Italy.
“This was the all-time standing of the Holy See toward Romanians. And not only toward our communities. They never made distinction between Orthodox and Catholics, between the two communities. We have a lot of evidence in this respect, in particular if we think that as many as 230 Catholic communities are currently supported by the Pope. This says something,” mentioned Ioan Robu.
The event ‘Romania in Rome pilgrimage’ was organized 9 through 11 September by the Bishops Conference of Romania, in the context of the Holy Year of Mercy.