Vatican city: The pope’s dream of a rejuvenated and united Europe came as he received the prestigious Charlemagne Prize from Jurgen Linden,president of the society for the conferral of the Charlemagne Prize, during a ceremony in the Sala Regia at the Vatican.
The award is traditionally conferred on the feast of the Ascension in the German city of Aachen. The award is presented every year by the citizens of Aachen to commemorate Charlemagne—the first Holy Roman Emperor—and to honor a public figure for his or her commitment in promoting European unity.
The ceremony to honor Pope Francis, however, was held in a frescoed hall of the Apostolic Palace, drawing distinguished European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, King Felipe VI of Spain, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, as well as the heads of the European Parliament, the European council and the European commission.
The mayor of Aachen, Marcel Phillip, told those assembled that “Pope Francis is a godsend for Europe”. Finally the Pope delivered a 30-minute talk tinged at times with admonishments but filled with heartfelt advice and lofty yet urgent dreams for the future.
Courtesy: Catholic News Service