Francis will pray for the victims of all wars during visit to Northern Italy.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis will honor the dead from both sides of World War I during a visit next month to northern Italy that witnessed some of the decisive final battles of the conflict.
Francis will lay a wreath at the Austro-Hungarian cemetery in Fogliano di Redipuglia, near Gorizia on Italy’s border with Slovenia, on Sept. 13, and celebrate Mass at the nearby Fascist-era memorial to the Italian dead.
The Vatican said Thursday that Francis would pray for the victims of all wars during the visit, his main commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I.
Historians say Italy’s victory at the November, 1918, Battle of Vittorio Veneto ended the war on the Italian front and helped secure the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.