Czech pilgrims meet with Pope Francis

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Czech Catholic dignitaries accompanied by hundreds of pilgrims met Pope Francis to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the canonization of Agnes of Bohemia.

The pilgrims gave Pope Francis a bronze statue of St. Agnes and offered a donation raised to support people in need.

At St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican, Czech pilgrims attended the general audience of the Pope after he arrived in the popemobile.

While traveling across the square, Pope Francis invited several Czech children to join him in the car. Organizers of the audience then reserved a special place for Czech pilgrims right at front of the stage.

General audiences take place every Wednesday and anyone from the public can attend them. On Wednesday, in addition to Czech pilgrims, several brides in wedding dresses, as well as parents with their children, came to Saint Peter’s Square to get a blessing from the Pope.

During the audience, Czech pilgrims gave the Pope a bronze statue of St. Agnes of Bohemia with fingerprints of people who contributed to its creation.

The statue is cast from bronze and silver and contains fragments of glass pieces in the colors of the Czech flag. The lower part is decorated with ribbons covered with fingerprints of several donors and another donor’s fingerprints are on a paper inserted in the body of the statue. The piece is topped with a crown.

Czech media also speculated that the pilgrims will hand over a letter of invitation to the Czech Republic to the Pope. However, the existence of such a letter was not confirmed.

The Czech national pilgrimage to commemorate the anniversary of the canonization of Agnes of Bohemia, the patron saint of Czech lands, ended in the afternoon with a service in Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran.

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