Pope Francis Signs New Encyclical ‘Fratelli tutti’ in Assisi

Pope Francis signs his new encyclical, Fratelli tutti, on the altar before the tomb of St. Francis of Assisi on Oct. 3, 2020.
Credit: Vatican Media.

Pope Francis signed his new encyclical, Fratelli tutti, Saturday during a visit to Assisi.

In his first official trip outside Rome since the pandemic struck Italy, the pope celebrated Mass at the tomb of his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi.

Fratelli tutti,” the encyclical’s opening words, means “All brothers” in Italian. The phrase is taken from the writings of St. Francis, one of the major inspirations for Pope Francis’ third encyclical, on fraternity and social friendship. The text will be released Oct. 4, St. Francis’ feast day.

The pope stopped off en route to Assisi to visit a community of cloistered Poor Clares in the Umbrian town of Spello. It was his second private visit to the community, following a surprise trip in January 2019.

Members of the Poor Clares of Santa Maria di Vallegloria visited Francis at the Vatican in August 2016, when he presented them with the apostolic constitution Vultum Dei quaerere, outlining new norms for women’s cloistered communities.

The pope arrived in a rainswept Assisi on Saturday afternoon, making a brief stop to greet another community of Poor Clares in the town, according to ACI Stampa, CNA’s Italian-language news partner.

He then celebrated Mass at the tomb of St. Francis in Assisi in the Basilica of St. Francis. ACI Stampa reported that those present included religious representing various branches of the Franciscans, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, pontifical legate for the Basilicas of St. Francis and St. Mary of the Angels in Assisi, local Bishop Domenico Sorrentino, and Stefania Proietti, Assisi’s mayor.

The Mass, which was private but livestreamed, followed the readings for the feast of St. Francis. 

The Gospel reading was Matthew 11:25-30, in which Jesus praises God the Father, “for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.”

Jesus then says: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

The pope did not preach after the Gospel, but instead observed a moment of silence.

Before signing the encyclical on the tomb of St. Francis, he thanked officials from the Vatican Secretariat of State, present at the Mass, who oversaw the text’s translation from Spanish into different languages. 

Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical, Laudato si’, had a title taken from St. Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of the Sun.” Prior to that he published Lumen fidei, an encyclical begun by his predecessor, Benedict XVI.

Assisi is the focal point of several major Church events this fall, including the Oct. 10 beatification of Carlo Acutis, and the “Economy of Francis” summit, scheduled to take place in November.

Subscribe to our Free Daily ACI Africa Newsletter

At ACI Africa, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news from Africa, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church – so that you can grow in your Catholic faith and awareness about the people of God in Africa.

When you subscribe to the ACI Africa Updates, we will send you a daily email with links to the news you need.

Use the form below to tell us where we can send the ACI Africa Updates

ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.

Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa
[email protected]