Exhibition on Saint Francis opens at the United Nations in New York
(Vatican Radio) The Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, on Monday opened the Exhibition on “Friar Francis: Traces, words, images” taking place at the UN offices in New York.
It is the first time the manuscripts on Saint Francis, some dating back to the year 1224, have left Italy.
“Bringing to New York these priceless documents has been extremely difficult and costly,” Archbishop Auza said.
“So, why are we doing this? We think it’s worth all the effort, because we believe that the values practiced and preached by Saint Francis are also the fundamental values of the United Nations, namely peace, the harmonious development of peoples in brotherhood and the love for nature. Without these values, we have wars and conflicts, injustices and all forms of slavery, environmental crises and disasters,” he explained.
“Wouldn’t this evening’s event be such a happy occasion, were these precious manuscripts on Saint Francis a harbinger of the visit to the United Nations of him who carries the Saint’s name,” continued Archbishop Auza.
“The Pope chose the name Francis precisely for these Franciscan core values of peace, fraternity of peoples and love for nature,” he said.
Speaking about the announcement that Pope Francis would visit Philadelphia in September 2015 for the World Meeting of Families, he said it was “sending ripples” from the Delaware River to the East River and the Potomac, and the Archbishop acknowledged officials of the United Nations would like the Pope to visit.
“I therefore hope that, with and through the ‘Friar Francis Exhibition: Traces, words, images’, this Francis of Assisi precedes the one who bears his name and spreads his values,” concluded Archbishop Auza.