The confreres and the sisters of the Parte Guelfa received the apostolic blessing and thanks for their commitment to the protection of creation. The affectionate greeting of Pope Francis came during the papal pilgrimage to Hungary and Slovakia which took place from 12th to 15th September 2021. The Pope urged the Brothers and Sisters of the Guelph Party to insist on their daily commitment to environmental protection inspired by the Encyclical “Laudato Si” and to the safeguarding of Christian traditions. The Holy Father greatly appreciated the beauty of the green banner of the Guelph Party and, explicitly thanking all the confreres and sisters for the gift, he read with interest the letter of the Consiglio di Credenza written on behalf of all the Knights and Dames of the Guelph Party. Pope Francis then imparted the apostolic blessing on the voluntary work of all members of the Guelph Party and asked them to pray for him. Parte Guelfa has its ecclesiastical seat at the Diocese of Pistoia in Serravalle Pistoiese, where the chapel of the Patron Saint Louis of Angiò, Bishop of Toulouse, is located, while the institutional seat is traditionally located at Palagio di Parte Guelfa in Florence, the city where it has also operational headquarters at the Visarno Stables. The Consiglio di Credenza was able to deliver by hand the letter of greeting and gratitude to the Holy Father describing their activities thanks to the generous initiative of Simone Pietro Mazzocchi, Knight of the Guelph Party for which he also fulfills the role of Conservator of Seals, who was able to represent the feelings of all the confreres by meeting Pope Francis thanks to his role as cabin manager of Alitalia during the five flights made on his last apostolic journey to Eastern Europe.
Below is the complete text of the letter from the Guelph Party to Pope Francis:
The Archconfraternity of the Guelph Party, established thanks to the benign approval of Pope Clement IV in 1266, continues to honor the duty of protecting creation conferred by Cosimo I de ‘Medici in 1549, engaging in a vast service of environmental protection, and to carry out custodial services for ecclesiastical institutions. Guelph Party, which has since 1318 as patron saint the Franciscan friar Louis of Angiò, Bishop of Toulouse, carries out pastoral and worship activities under the guidance of the Prior General, a bishop of the Catholic Church, and the Chaplain Major as a spiritual assistant.
Our witness of Christian life is accomplished through the enhancement of green areas by contributing, together with the competent institutions, to the recovery and promotion of environmental heritage and culture. Our volunteer work consists in dealing with environmental emergencies also through cleaning activities of parks, natural reserves and urban green areas. Another important activity consists in the training of sisters and brothers aimed at increasing respect and awareness of the urgency of the conservation of nature and wildlife.
The mission of the members of the Guelph Party, fully corresponding to the contents of the Encyclical LAUDATO SI’, is carried out in living a life attentive to respect for creation and creatures, in harmony with the legacy of St. Francis of Assisi who left, in the Canticle of the Creatures, an heritage of great environmental sensitivity. The Franciscan spirit, as well as the attention to the environment, is also found in the ecumenism that distinguishes the Guelph Party, spontaneously committed to implementing the exhortations contained in the Encyclical FRATELLI TUTTI.
We thank and greet Your Holiness with the deepest devotion.
The Connsiglio di Credenza
Palagio di Parte Guelfa
Florence, 8 September 2021
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Simone Mazzocchi, Luca Amerighi, Andrea Claudio Galluzzo e Marco Crisci