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Pope Francis encourages forgiveness and love in visit to Verona

Pope Francis is offered a 'peace flag' during the 'Arena of Peace - Justice and Peace Will Embrace' meeting in Verona, Italy, Saturday, May 18,2 2024.
Pope Francis is offered a 'peace flag' during the 'Arena of Peace - Justice and Peace Will Embrace' meeting in Verona, Italy, Saturday, May 18,2 2024. Copyright Gregorio Borgia/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Gregorio Borgia/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
By Kristina Harazim with AP
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The pope also spoke of the ''genius of Shakespeare'' the playwright who set his famous Romeo and Juliet play in Verona.

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Pope Francis was in Verona to chair the 'Arena of Peace' event held in the ancient Roman amphitheatre. Thousands of people converged on the medieval city to see the pontiff who first met with the city's deacons, priests, and consecrated men and women.

As they gathered in what the Pope described as one of Italy’s most beautiful Romanesque Basilicas, the Basilica of Saint Zeno, Francis said that the architecture reminded him of a boat, and that together they were part of the boat of the Lord ''navigating the seas of history to spread the joy of the Gospel''.

Pope Francis arrives at Verona's ancient Roman arena for the "Arena of Peace - Justice and Peace Will Embrace" meeting in the Italian city of Verona, Saturday, May 18, 2024.
Pope Francis arrives at Verona's ancient Roman arena for the "Arena of Peace - Justice and Peace Will Embrace" meeting in the Italian city of Verona, Saturday, May 18, 2024.Gregorio Borgia/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved

 He urged ordinary people to take the cause of peace into their own hands, instead of waiting on world leaders.

He also fielded an array of questions from people involved in discussions focussed on themes ranging from migration and the economy, to the environment and disarmament.

Additional sources • Vatican News

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