Member Cities' Activities
Audience with Pope Francis for Mayor Knez of Biograd na Moru,
representing the European Chapter of Mayors for Peace
October 21, 2020
Report by Ms. Jasminka Bajlo, the City of Biograd na Moru, Croatia
A private audience with Pope Francis for Mayor Ivan Knez of Biograd na Moru, representing the European Chapter of Mayors for Peace, was held on October 21 in the Vatican. This audience was aimed to convey the message of nuclear disarmament and peace from the European Chapter directly to the Holy Father. This audience was originally scheduled for April 19, but got postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Mayoral of Granollers, the Chair of the Chapter, was also a member of this delegation, but had to cancel his travel due to the pandemic and indispensable obligations.
Mayor Knez and Jasminka Bajlo of the City of Biograd na Moru were present at the audience in Pope John II Audience Hall, and were honored by sitting in the first row (called baciamano, “kissing hand”). Upon entering the almost empty hall, which could accommodate 6,500 visitors, the Holy Father excused himself for not approaching and shaking hands, given the current circumstances.
Mayor Knez had prepared a gift for the Pope from the Chapter, a small-scale replica of the origami paper-crane monument on the waterfront in Biograd na Moru titled “The Bird of Peace.”