The mosque was busy with worshippers, despite the late hour, as families celebrated the start of the Islamic Holy Year
The conference's theme, "A Call for Global Ecological Conversion," used Pope Francis' encyclical "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home" and his papal bull, Misericordia Vultus, which introduced the Holy Year
of Mercy, as spiritual frameworks in exploring issues related to the environment and climate change.
He says, "I had the idea that, as yet another tangible sign of this Extraordinary Holy Year
, the entire Church might celebrate, on the Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, the World Day of the Poor.
He said to be imaginative about what to do for the Holy Year
of Mercy,' he explained.
Francis had already temporarily granted the power to all priests to give what is known as "sacramental absolution" for abortion during the Holy Year
, from Dec 8 to Nov 20, but the solemn tone of his words in Monday's letter suggested that change would last for at least the rest of his papacy.
Bishop Phillipe Rukamba, spokesman for the Catholic Church in Rwanda, said the statement was timed to coincide with the formal end Sunday of the Holy Year
of Mercy declared by Pope Francis to encourage greater reconciliation and forgiveness in his church and in the world.
The festivities in her honour are a highlight of his Holy Year
of Mercy, which runs until November 8.
The Pope has made concern for the poor a major plank of his papacy and was keen to make her a saint in the Roman Catholic Church's current Holy Year
Pope Francis warning pilgrims of Jubilee Year fraudsters who sell parchments passed off as apostolic blessings that commemorate marriages, baptisms, and Holy Year
pilgrimages (The Prairie Messenger)
Using some of his strongest words ever against capital punishment, he called on Catholic politicians to press for a freeze on executions during the Church's current Holy Year
, which ends in November.
They have winced at his environmental alarmism, wondered what's in store for Catholic orthodoxy in this Holy Year
of Mercy and blasted as sacrilege the recent screening of nature shots on St.
No date was set for the canonisation, but Italian media have speculated that the ceremony will take place in the first week of September, coinciding with the anniversary of her death, and taking place during Francis' Holy Year