The logo for the visit of Pope Francis: message and challenge

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Emanuela Rocchi is the Italian artist who created the logo for the visit of Pope Francis to the Holy Land. She is the one who won the international contest for the logo of the Great Jubilee in the year 2000 (Do you remember ? The 5 doves of various colors flying on the cross, and the motto “Christ yesterday, today and for ever”). The climax of the forthcoming event will be the joint prayer between Pope Francis, Patriarch Bartholomew and the other Heads of the Sisters Churches in Jerusalem. It is worth noting that the logo expresses almost word-for-word the message and challenge which Pope Francis addressed in Evangelii Gaudium  n. 99, where he wrote:

“I especially ask Christians in communities throughout the world to offer a radiant and attractive witness of fraternal communion. Let everyone admire how you care for one another, and how you encourage and accompany one another: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35). This was Jesus’ heartfelt prayer to the Father: “That they may all be one… in us… so that the world may believe” (Jn 17:21). Beware of the temptation of jealousy! We are all in the same boat and headed to the same port! Let us ask for the grace to rejoice in the gifts of each, which belong to all”.

Of course, Pope Francis addressed this exhortation to the universal Church, when his visit to the Holy Land was not yet envisaged. We can, however, apply it to our particular situation. In fact, it is up to the “Mother Church” of Jerusalem, first of all, to welcome the invitation of the “Common Father” and to commit herself to give a convincing and attractive witness of fraternal love among all Christians. For his part Pope Francis, exchanging the kiss of peace with the Heads of the Sister Churches, will give the example. Let us pray that this will be the first fruits of this event, as a premise for the future. Only if this happens, can we rightly speak of an “historical event” which gave impulse to the reconstruction of the perfect unity among Christians, and fostered inter-religious relations with both Jews and Muslims. So, it depends also on us that this will not remain just “a news item”.