New Center Caters to European Pilgrimages

Information Facility Opens at St. Peter's Square

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ROME, JAN. 23, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The recently opened "Routes of Europe" information center in the Vatican offices of the Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi, in St. Peter's Square, offers resources that pilgrims need on their journeys.



The center provides news and catalogues, suggests guides and other useful publications, and operates a service for trip reservations. It issues the "testimonium" -- a certificate of the authenticity of a pilgrimage -- and provides a reception site for travelers.

It is part of the transnational Routes of Europe project, oriented to appreciating the two main cultural itineraries of Europe, the Via Francigena and Route of Santiago, which go across Italy, Spain, France, Portugal and Sweden.

At the Jan. 10 inauguration of the Routes of Europe information center, Archbishop Claudio Celli blessed the premises and said: "Here, pilgrims will be welcomed, people who go on pilgrimage guided by faith and the desire of inner search."

Father Caesar Atuire, director general of the Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi, said: "The reception center we have opened today demonstrates the Church's desire to collaborate with all those private initiatives and institutions that foster the promotion of culture and the human person, following these ancient routes that have woven Europe's history and contributed to shape its identity."

The Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi, an activity of the Vicariate of Rome, seeks to evangelize, in part, through the ministry of pilgrimage, as well as through cultural and formative initiatives.