Pope Francis on has blessed the “Benedictine Torch of Peace,” which since 1964 – the year Saint Benedict was named a patron of Europe – has been sponsored by the city of Norcia to promote unity and peace in Europe.
This year, the Torch is being used to help mark the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which established what is now the European Union.
During the Wednesday General Audience on 22 February, the Holy Father greeted a delegation which included the Archbishop of Spoleto-Norcia, Renato Boccardo; the Abbot of Montecassino, Father Donato Ogliari; and the the Abbot of Subiaco, Father Mauro Meacci.
“I invite everyone to become a promoter of the culture of peace in every area of life,” Pope Francis said.
The torch will be taken to Subiaco in the coming days before making the journey to Brussels, the capital of the European Union, on 8 March.
On 19 March it will arrive in Montecassino, before ending its journey in Norcia on 25 March. At every stop on its journey, celebrations will be help to commemorate the anniversary of the Treaty of Rome.