Pope Francis will be visiting Assisi today on this Feast of St. Francis of Assisi who happens to be Italy’s patron saint and the Holy Father’s namesake. According to news reports, John Paul II visited Assisi six times, and Benedict XVI, twice.
It seems that of all the saints, Saint Francis holds a special place in our Popes’ hearts.
Pope John Paul II said during a visit in 1978: “You, who brought Christ so close to your age, help us to bring Christ close to our age, to our difficult and critical times. Help us! These times are waiting for Christ with great anxiety…”
Pope Benedict said in a 2010 General Audience: “The witness of Francis, who loved poverty as a means to follow Christ with dedication and total freedom, continues to be for us too an invitation to cultivate interior poverty…”
You can watch Pope Francis’ visit LIVE on Vatican TV.