In the footsteps of St. Francis:  The Holy Father marks the anniversary of the encounter between St. Francis and the Sultan

On January 7th, 2019, during an address on multilateral diplomacy given to members of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, Pope Francis referred to the 1219 meeting between St. Francis of Assisi and the Sultan as a model for interreligious dialogue.

“Even though ‘over the centuries many quarrels and dissensions have arisen between Christians and Muslims’, in different areas of the Middle East they have long lived together in peace.  In the near future, I will have occasion to visit two predominantly Muslim countries, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates.  These represent two important opportunities to advance interreligious dialogue and mutual understanding between the followers of both religions, in this year that marks the eight-hundredth anniversary of the historic meeting between Saint Francis of Assisi and Sultan al-Malik al-Kāmil.” (Full text:

Pope Francis will visit Morocco from March 30th to 31st, 2019, and will meet Muslim civil and religious leaders.