2014-03-20 Vatican - Pope Francis has planted a virtual olive tree for peace as part of an initiative aimed at getting children around the world to plant their own trees, to help foster an awareness of peace and what it means in their homes, communities, and countries.

The Pope planted his virtual tree by tapping the touch screen of a tablet yesterday afternoon in the Santa Marta guesthouse in the Vatican, during an encounter with representatives of Scholas Occurrentes "the Worldwide Network of Schools Getting Together." The initiative is being promoted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences Chancellor Argentine Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo. In addressing the group of about 40 people, Pope Francis talked about education, sports and solidarity.

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences is inviting schools to participate in the initiative “in all levels.” Pope Francis, who Wednesday was also celebrating the first anniversary of his installation and Father’s Day, launched a tweet for the occasion: “I greet the World School Network for Encounter. Today we plant the first virtual olive tree for peace. @infoscholas”