Pope Francis with Bishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi, Italy. The Assisi bishop will be in Rome on Tuesday, December 5, to award a special “Francis of Assisi and Carlo Acutis” prize

    Letter #174, 2023, Sunday, December 3: Assisi Prize

    The bishop of Assisi, Domenico Sorrentino, will be in Rome, in Vatican City, on Tuesday, December 5, to award a special annual prize, the “Francis of Assisi and Carlo Acutis Prize for an Economy of Fraternity.”

    The prize will be awarded in a ceremony in the Palazzo San Carlo at 11 a.m.

    Here is the press release about this event. (link) —RM

    “Francis of Assisi and Carlo Acutis for an Economy of Fraternity”

    The international award “Francis of Assisi and Carlo Acutis for an Economy of Fraternity” was established by the Archbishop of Assisi on October 10, 2020, the day of the Beatification of Carlo Acutis.

    It aims to encourage fraternal economic projects “from below,” starting from the difficult conditions faced by our youngest and most suffering brothers and sisters.

    The Award aims to generatively inspire people with limited economic opportunities, especially young people under the age of 35 and in the poorest regions of the world, to come together (“Fratelli tutti”) and present, as a change-makers, a specific and valid project, subjected to the careful examination and judgment of an Evaluation Commission, to benefit and satisfy the concrete needs of the most disadvantaged and needy among them.

    As Pope Francis continually expressed throughout his pontificate, Saint Francis of Assisi is an inspiration for a new relationship with our poor and marginalized sisters and brothers: “Saint Francis offers us an ideal and, in a certain sense, a program. For me, who took his name, he is a constant source of inspiration” (Letter for the event “Economy of Francis,” May 1, 2019).

    This is why we believe that from Assisi, the words of Jesus from the Crucifix of San Damiano must resonate today in a world affected by the pandemic: “Go, Francis, repair my house which, as you see, is falling into ruin.”

    By stripping himself of his clothes and material goods in front of his father, Pietro Bernardone, and the then Bishop of Assisi, Guido, the young Francis initiated, through the concrete sign of his nakedness, an economy different from that of his earthly father: trust in providence as a generative instrument for the good of all and, above all, of the poorest and most abandoned.

    Thus Francis could exclaim: “From now on I will say: ‘Our Father who art in heaven’ and no longer ‘Father Pietro Bernardone.'”

    Inspired by Saint Francis, Blessed Carlo Acutis, buried in Assisi in the Sanctuary of Spoliation, is himself an example of the “economy of fraternity,” especially for young people.

    His profoundly Eucharistic spirituality was manifested in his love for the poor, characterized not only by almsgiving, but by closeness and friendship with the needy, something that Pope Francis has often encouraged in our relationships with the poor.

    “The only thing that will make us truly beautiful in the eyes of God,” Carlo tells us, “is the way in which we love God and our neighbor.”

    In a world shaken by the pandemic and war and faced with many other challenges, the international prize “Francis of Assisi and Carlo Acutis, for an Economy of Brotherhood” aims to be an inspiration of holiness, beauty and goodness through new economic models, necessary for these times.


    P.S. Special Note! Any donation in support of this letter would be appreciated: here.

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