Pope Francis asked baptized persons to accompany with prayer, ‘the Ecumenical Day of Reflection and Prayer on the Situation in the Middle East,’ which he has convoked in Bari in Puglia, in southern Italy, for July 7, 2018.
During the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square on July 1, the Holy Father recalled this event: “Next Saturday, I will go to Bari with numerous leaders of Churches and Christian communities of the Middle East,” he reminded the crowd, which applauded.
“We will live a day of prayer and reflection on the ever tragic situation of this region, where so many of our brothers and sisters in the faith continue to suffer, and we will implore with one voice ‘That peace be within you!’ (Psalm 122:8),” he explained.
“I ask all to accompany with prayer this pilgrimage of peace and unity,” added the Pontiff.
This meeting will take place in Bari, “window on the East,” where the relics are kept of Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myre, recognized by the faithful of different Churches and Christian Confessions as defender of the weakest and the persecuted, and Protector of young girls, of sailors and of children.
According to the program, the Pope and Patriarchs will go to the Papal Basilica of Saint Nicholas, then they will pray on the coast of Bari, before conversing and dining in private.