43rd European Meeting of Taizé concludes in Turin
By Lisa Zengarini
Hundreds of young people from Italy, Europe and other continents are gathered in the Italian city of Turin for the second stage of the 43rd European “Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth”, organized by the Taizé community. The ecumenical event, which is traditionally held at the end of each year in a European city, is taking place in person from 7-10 July for the first time since 2019.
This 43rd edition in the capital of the northern region of Piedmont was originally scheduled in 2020, but was postponed for 12 months to December 2021 , due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Omicron variant of the virus forced organizers to split the event in two, with the first part taking place in late December, as custom, but in a mixed format involving only a limited number of in-person participants from Piedmont.
Participants in this second phase include young people from several European countries, including Ukraine and Russia, but also from the United States, Egypt and Indonesia, who have been welcomed by over 150 volunteers from across Europe, alongside local volunteers.
The programme of the event has included moments of prayer and group activities in local parishes, workshops on cultural, artistic, social and spiritual topics, as well as visits to a number of significant sites of the city of Turin.
Among the highlights of this year’s meeting there have been three round tables titled "Discovering Piedmont“, "Young people and the Shroud”, "Young people ... and saints!" with Roberto Fascila, the vice postulator of the cause of canonization of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati (1901-1925) as a key speaker. An exhibition on the young Italian Catholic activist, patron of youth, has been also organized and participants have been offered to the opportunity to pray in the chapel of Cathedral of Turin where his remains rest.
The “White Night of Faith”
The event reaches its peak today, with a “White Night of Faith” including a Festival of Peopes at the Court of the Royal Palace of Turin, a festive moment with music, dances, and testimonies, followed by the last Evening Prayer presided over by the Archbishop Roberto Repole of Turin, and, at 10.30 pm, by spiritual and artistic visits in the city center, including one to the Chapel of the Shroud - the burial cloth of Jesus - which has been opened expectionally for this special occasion.
Another feature of this edition of the European meeting of Taizé has been the opening of the "House of Peace", in the heart of city, where participants have gathered to share their views and experiences on the theme of world peace.
The meeting will end on Sunday with Masses in the hosting parishes and lunch in the host families.
The Taizé Community
The Taizé Community is an ecumenical Christian monastic founded in 1940 by the Swiss-born Brother Roger (Frère Roger) in the French village of Taizé, in France, and composed of Catholic and Protestant brothers. Over the year Taizé has become one of the world's most important sites of Christian pilgrimage, with a focus on youth. Over 100,000 young people from around the world make pilgrimages to the site each year to pray, study the Bible, share their faith experiences and do communal work.
The annual “Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth” at the end of the year has been organized since the early Seventies gathering thousands of young people.