At 10:30 a.m. local time (4:30 p.m. Taipei time) on September 6, Vice President Chen Chien-jen, Mrs. Chen, and the delegation that accompanied them during the canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta at the Vatican went to the Italian town of Assisi, a pilgrimage destination famed as the birthplace of St. Francis. While there they toured the Basilica and the Sacred Convent of St. Francis and offered a heartfelt prayer for world peace.
The delegation was welcomed upon arrival at the basilica by Father Mauro Gambetti, Custos of the Sacred Convent. Because Vice President and Mrs. Chen are both devout Catholics, special arrangements were made for a visit to the tomb of St. Francis, where they offered a prayer for peace throughout the world and in the Taiwan Strait.
Vice President and Mrs. Chen then proceeded to the basilica's Tomb Church to attend a mass officiated by Father Giovanni Chiu (邱琮傑) from Taiwan. The vice president offered a prayer that included the following four supplications: (1) We pray for Pope Francis and the entire Catholic clergy. May they be the visible face in this world of the forgiving and merciful Father. (2) We pray for a sustainable global environment. May all the Lord's creation benefit from human care and protection. (3) We pray for peace throughout the world and particularly in the Taiwan Strait. May war and terrorism come to an end. May the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait be looked after, shepherded, and blessed by the pope as members of a single flock. (4) We pray for Taiwan. May the economy be strong, and the people prosperous and secure. May families enjoy harmony and happiness.
Since his installation, Pope Francis has issued numerous calls for peace. On September 20 he will take part in the closing ceremony of the 30th World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi, and leaders of the world's major religions will be on hand for the occasion. Vice President Chen's prayer for world peace that he offered during this pilgrimage to Assisi was his way of responding to the frequent calls of Pope Francis for peace.