Feast of Saint Francis in the Vatican Gardens and consecration of the Synod on Amazonia to the Poverello of Assisi
The feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, celebrated on 4 October will assume a special value this year, since two days later the Synod on Amazonia, the first Synod on the theme of integral ecology, will be inaugurated. In addition, 29 November marks the fortieth anniversary of the proclamation by John Paul II of Saint Francis as patron saint of ecology. Finally, the feast of Saint Francis closes the Season of Creation, the annual celebration that takes place from 1 September to 4 October, and which for the first time has also been officially proclaimed by Pope Francis for the Catholic Church.
Therefore, on 4 October, in the Vatican Gardens, in the presence of the Holy Father, the heads of the indigenous populations and representatives of the Church, a tree – a holm oak from Assisi – will be planted as a visible sign of integral ecology.
The event, organized by the Order of Friars Minor, the World Catholic Movement for Climate (GCCM) and REPAM (Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network) is intended to communicate the importance of the Season of Creation, since this is Pope Francis’ first visible gesture following his invitation to the Church worldwide to celebrate this period of prayer and more intense action for the benefit of the common home. The importance of the Synod on the Amazon will also be reiterated in this way by proposing Saint Francis as a model and guide for the synodal process.
In the Vatican Gardens, a prayer of consecration of the Synod to the intercession of Saint Francis will be recited, in the hope that this process will lead to discernment of new ways for the Church and for an integral ecology in this key region for the world.