During his visit to L’Aquila, the pope said that he wanted the central Italian city to become a “capital of forgiveness, peace, and reconciliation.”
“This is how peace is built through forgiveness received and given,” he said.
L’Aquila is the burial place of Pope Celestine V, who led the Catholic Church for just five months before his resignation on Dec. 13, 1294. The pope, who was canonized in 1313, is buried in L’Aquila’s Basilica of Santa Maria di Collemaggio.
In the spring, the Vatican’s announcement that Pope Francis would visit L’Aquila prompted unsourced speculation that the trip could be the prelude to the 85-year-old pope’s resignation.
When Benedict XVI became the first pope to resign in almost 600 years in 2013, Vatican-watchers recalled that he had visited the tomb of…