He will arrive in Verona on May 18 to commemorate the 1650th death anniversary of the city’s patron, St. Zeno, whose official feast day is May 21. Pope Francis’ trip to Verona will involve three significant moments: a visit to the Arena during the Forum for Peace, lunch with inmates at the Montorio Prison, and the Eucharist in the Bentegodi Stadium.
Pope Francis’ day will begin with the Arena di Pace 2024 (Arena for Peace 2024) event. The project brings together major church leaders from around the world to discuss crucial issues. This year’s topic tables will include peace and disarmament, integrated ecology, migration, labor, democracy and rights, and lifestyles. The event is inspired by celebrations from the 1980s and 1990s and returns 10 years after the previous commemoration in 2014. The Arena for Peace 2024 is a journey that began in June 2023 in reaction to global crises in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
Following that, the Pope will visit the Montorio Prison and spend some time with the inmates. The prison “outcomes cries and screams from silence, and it is therefore a place toward which to stretch the ear to listen to what is moving and happening in it,” Verona’s Bishop, Domenico Pompili, noted in his most recent Pastoral Letter on Silence.
Then, the day will conclude with Holy Mass at 4 p.m. in the Bentegodi Stadium, which will be open to all citizens.