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G8: Mayor asks Obama to press for monk's beatification

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G8: Mayor asks Obama to press for monk's beatification

San Giovanni in Fiore, 8 July (AKI) - The mayor of the southern Italian town of San Giovanni in Fiore has sent a message to US president Barack Obama inviting him to ask Pope Benedict XVI to 'intercede' in the beatification process of a medieval monk, Gioacchino da Fiore. Obama referred to the monk several times during his election campaign in 2008.

"In particular, I ask American president Obama, who during his electoral campaign made reference to our 'mystic', defining him as a master of contemporary civilisation and inspirational of a more just world," Antonio Nicoletti, the town's mayor, told Adnkronos.

"I wish, in good omen, that when Obama is received at the Vatican on Friday, he will take the opportunity to ask (the pontiff) at what point is the beatification of Gioacchino."

The 12th century theologian and abbot, who is also known as Joachim of Fiore, founded a monastic order in the local Sila area, where his body is housed.

In his campaign speeches, Obama referred to Gioacchino da Fiore as a "master of contemporary civilisation" and someone who wanted to create a fairer world.

Italy's most famous literary figure, Dante Alighieri, referred to Gioacchino da Fiore as a "gifted prophet" in his famous work The Divine Comedy.

Meanwhile, many in San Giovanni in Fiore have been awaiting a decision from the Vatican on the beatification of the monk.

The southern Italian region of Calabria is still waiting for Obama to accept an invitation from the town to visit the abbey made famous by the Medieval monk.

The G8 summit began on Wednesday in the central region of Italy and leaders were due to discuss the global financial crisis, food security, climate change and Iran.

Leaders from Russia, Britain, Germany, Italy, France, Canada and Japan are attending the summit, as well as representatives of the European Union.

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