Sri M met with His Holiness, Pope Francis at Vatican in Rome this Wednesday, 13 April 2016. On the occasion, Sri M informed the Pope about Walk of Hope 2015-16 and its mission of peace and harmony in India.
Sri M presented a personal note to Pope Francis which conveyed the primary objective of the Walk of Hope and sought His blessings for the initiative on behalf of the padaytris, on a mission of peace & hope from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.
His Holiness wished the padayatra all success and congratulated Sri M for the endeavour undertaken to ensure a strong and vibrant future for India. Pope Francis has consistently spoken for the global cause of interfaith harmony and respect for everyone’s religion in the public sphere and, therefore, he extended his full encouragement and support for the padayatra.
Speaking about his meeting with His Holiness, Pope Francis, Sri M said:
"His Holiness, Pope Francis blessed the the Walk Of Hope initiative which stood for the promotion of peace. Pope Francis mentioned in His day's address that this was the year of mercy, and added that "every saint has a past and every sinner a future, and that Jesus came for the sinners and welcomed them as his own."
Led by Sri M, the padayatra has by now visited places of worship of Baha'is, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Jews, Sikhs and Zoroastrians along the route. The Walk of Hope 2015-16, along its route, is also organizing Nirahar Satyagrahas - a proclamation against terrorism & communal violence and a call for interfaith dialogue, conflict resolution and prevention of religious clashes. The first Satyagraha was held at Pune on 5 July 2015, the second in Ahmedabad on 6 September 2015 while the third Satyagraha was held in Bhopal on 20 October 2015, the fourth at Varanasi on 18 December 2015, and the fifth at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi on 25 & 26 February 2016.