A prayer in Chinese “for persecuted Christians” and that all political leaders might work towards justice and peace.

- S,S, Francesco -Basilica vaticana: Cappella Papale nella solennità dei Santi Pietro e Paolo 29-06-2016 - (Copyright L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO - Servizio Fotografico - photo@ossrom.va)

This characterized the Mass Pope Francis celebrated in St Peter’s Basilica on Wednesday morning, 29 June, the solemnity of the Patron Saints of Rome. After the Mass, the Holy Father personally conveyed the pallium to 22 new Metropolitan Archbishops.

Following up on the innovation introduced last year in order to emphasize a bond with the local Church, the pallium will be imposed at the hands of the pontifical representative in the dioceses of origin of Metropolitan appointees over the course of the year. The same will be the case for the three newly appointed Metropolitan appointees who were unable to attend the ceremony in St Peter’s.

Among the 22 bishops present were five from Italy, four from Brazil, two each from Spain, Ecuador and Mexico, and one each from France, Belgium, Turkey, the United States of America, Cuba, Antilles and Poland. Hymns were performed by the Sistine Chapel Choir, conducted by Msgr Palombella, together with the Bavarian Lutheran Choir of Windsbacher Knabenchor and the prestigious and long-established Anglican Choir of New College Oxford. Thus continues the ecumenical project begun in 2012, which provides for the participation of choirs from other Christian communities, with the rationale of seeking paths of unity and retracing common sources.

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