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Pope Francis in Venice

During his pastoral visit to Venice, Pope Francis, in St. Mark's Square, reminded those present that "Faith in Jesus, the bond with him, does not imprison our freedom. On the contrary, it opens us to receive the sap of God's love." 

Pope Francis arrived in Venice early Sunday morning on April 28 for a day trip to the Biennale art exhibition, celebrating its 60th anniversary. The Holy See's "With My Eyes" pavilion dovetails with this year's broader theme: "Foreigners Everywhere." 

The pope's visit also holds a deep meaning as Francis is the first pontiff to visit the Biennale, where the Vatican has held a pavilion since 2013. Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Mark's Square with more than 10,000 pilgrims. 

"Venice," the pope said, "which has always been a place of cultural exchange and meeting, is called to be a symbol of beauty accessible to all, starting with the least fortunate, and a sign of fraternity and care for our common home." 

After the recitation of the Regina Caeli, the pope entered St. Mark's Basilica to venerate the evangelist's relics before returning to the Vatican by helicopter as pilgrims and tourists bid farewell from land and sea. 

Earlier Sunday morning, the Holy Father met with female inmates, staff, and volunteers at Venice's Women's Prison on the Island of Giudecca, where he spoke on the topic of human dignity, suggesting that prison can "mark the beginning of something new, through the rediscovery of the unsuspected beauty in us and in others." 

Adapted by Jacob Stein

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Author Name

Matthew Santucci has recently started in EWTN's Vatican bureau. He grew up in Connecticut and has been living in Rome since 2020. He has a B.A. in History from Fordham and an M.A. in International Relations from Luiss Guido Carli.

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