Pope Francis visit to Venice. Imag courtesy of Vatican Holy See

Pope Francis visits Venice


Pope Francis visits Venice, meeting prisoners, young people, artists and holding mass.

The journey commenced with a visit to Giudecca prison, where the Pope met with inmates.

“In prison, harsh realities such as overcrowding, insufficient resources, and instances of violence inflict considerable suffering,” the Pope said to the inmates, urging them “not to strip anyone of their dignity.”

He emphasised that prisons “can also serve as places of renewal, both moral and material, where the dignity of individuals is not ‘isolated,’ but rather nurtured through mutual respect and the cultivation of talents and abilities.”

Pope Francis expressed his heartfelt connection with the inmates, stating, “I wanted to start my visit to Venice by meeting you to convey that you hold a special place in my heart.”

He envisioned the encounter not merely as an ‘official visit’ but as a moment of genuine connection enriched by time, prayer, closeness, and fraternal affection.

 “Today, as we gather in this courtyard, we will all depart enriched; perhaps it is I who will gain the most, and the goodness we share will be invaluable,” he reflected. Stressing the uniqueness of each individual’s journey and the wounds they bear, he stated the need for unity, acknowledging that everyone has something unique to offer and receive.

Venice Biennale – women’s contribution to humanity

Moving from Giudecca, Pope Francis received drawings from children and shared a light-hearted moment with a local journalist, describing Venice as “refreshing.”

At the Venice Biennale, the Pope talked about the intertwined nature of joy and suffering, particularly as expressed through the female experience in art. Referencing artists like Frida Kahlo, Corita Kent, and Louise Bourgeois, he underscored the importance of contemporary art in recognising and valuing women’s contributions to humanity.

Pursue “selfless love”

Continuing his journey, Pope Francis addressed a gathering of young people at the Basilica of the Madonna della Salute. Encouraging them to rise above negativity and embrace their divine heritage, he urged them to seek companionship, reject isolation, and embark on shared spiritual journeys.

The pope challenged them to become creators of beauty and agents of change, urging them to eschew the pursuit of self-interest in favour of selfless love.

Concluding his visit with a mass at Piazza San Marco, Pope Francis imparted spiritual guidance to the assembled crowd, emphasising the importance of perseverance and unity in faith.

Throughout his visit to Venice, Pope Francis imparted messages of hope, compassion, and solidarity, urging all to embrace their inherent dignity and work together for a better future.

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