#EOF2022: End of the meetings - beginning of the future

Our correspondent in Assisi, Francesca Merlo, offers a concluding look at the three-day Economy of Francesco meeting, which saw over a thousand young economists and entrepreneurs gathered in the central Italian city to draw inspiration from St. Francis.

By Francesca Merlo - Assisi, Italy

The Economy of Francesco has ended. For the last three days, Assisi has been filled with young, colourful entrepreneurs, economists and changemakers, who have put their heads together to discuss ways of bettering our economies, through the adoption of circular and green economic stystems.

Pope Francis participated in this final day, here in Assisi’s Lyrick theatre. Greeted first by music, the Holy Father then heard the testimonies of some of these young people: from a 14-year-old climate activist from Thailand, who has been working hard to fight environmental injustices since she was only 8 years old, to a detainee from Italy, imprisoned for over 9 years, in which time he has fought hard to get his life back on track.

These young people, from over 120 countries, represent the youth to whome Pope Francis has always sought to give voice. And they will now carry the principles to which the Holy Father has dedicated his pontificate to their home countries in various parts of the world.

These are the principles of Saint Francis of Assisi, who is buried here in the city’s basilica, and these are the principles portrayed in Pope Francis’ encyclicals Fratelli tutti and Laudato si', to which the Economy of Francesco is partly dedicated in its fight for sustainable and just economic systems.

But more than that, the Economy of Francesco is dedicated to the future and to all those who will be a part of it.

And this is the message that was signed on Saturday by Pope Francis and 14-year-old climate activist Lily in a Covenant, terminating the meeting between the young people and the Pope but opening the doors, with positivity, to a strong, sustainable future, in which everyone is equal.

24 September 2022, 14:27