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Pope Francis to use Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address lectern in Philadelphia

Published 08/08/2015

Pope Francis visits the US later this year (AP)
Pope Francis visits the US later this year (AP)

Pope Francis will stand at the same lectern that President Abraham Lincoln used to deliver the Gettysburg Address when he speaks outside Philadelphia's Independence Hall in September

The lectern's loan for the pope's use on September 26 was announced by the Vatican-sponsored World Meeting of Families, which the pope will attend.

Lincoln used the lectern on November 19 1863 to dedicate part of the Civil War battlefield at Gettysburg as a cemetery, giving one of the most famous speeches in American history.

His two-minute address ended with the resolution that "this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth".

The pope is expected to talk about immigration and religious freedom during his remarks outside Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4 1776.

The lectern's "simple beauty and humble role in one of American history's most important moments reflects, in many ways, Pope Francis's own world view", said Robert Ciaruffoli, president of the World Meeting of Families.

The pontiff's first stops on his US visit will be in Washington and New York.

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