From 11-13 November 2016, several thousand people who used to be, or still are, homeless will travel to Rome from all over Europe – to mark the Jubilee of Mercy, one week before the Holy Year draws to an end.
The organisers of the pilgrimage have said in a statement: “This pilgrimage and encounter with Pope Francis will give the most vulnerable in our society, who often experience marginalisation, the chance to discover that their place is in God’s heart and at the centre of the Church”. The event takes place during the French Church’s Year of diakonia.
Participants will be received in the Vatican by Pope Francis, who will hold catechesis sessions on November 11th and celebrate a mass for them on November 13th. There will also be a prayer vigil presided over by the Archbishop of Lyon, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin.
In October 2014, 150 homeless people from France embarked on a pilgrimage, at the end of which they met Pope Francis briefly. This led to the establishment of the FRATELLO association, which is now organising this year’s November event.