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World News

Details of Pope Francis' visit to Irish festival revealed

by Tola Mbakwe

The pope will deliver an address to the families in the stadium at Croke Park in Dublin on 25th August and will hear five family testimonies.

World Meeting of Families, which has organised the event, said the testimonies will be shared by families from Ireland, Canada, India, Iraq and Africa.

The themes of the family testimonies will focus on forgiveness in family, strength in family, hope in family life, the intergenerational nature of families today and the impact of technology on family life.  Pope Francis will also meet each of these families and hear their stories.

The ninth annual festival will include performances from an orchestra, over 700 contemporary dancers, a 1,000 strong choir and 300 flag bearers.

World Meeting of Families said the selection of themes and artists featured in the event reflect many of the priorities in the ministry of Pope Francis including homelessness and refugees.

President and host of the event, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Primate of Ireland said: "One of the great attractions of Pope Francis is how he himself shows how the role of Pope can be unique in bringing the Christian message into our complex world.

"He shows us that he can live in a world where faith seems marginal and yet manages to touch hearts. He finds ways in which he can win hearts for what the teaching of Jesus involves, not through imposing and judging, but through winning and attracting. That is his real talent."

Families will be able to sit with Pope Francis to watch some of the presentations on stage.

More acts will be announced closer to the event.

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