Malta, pastoral visit in April by Pope Francis confirmed by the Vatican
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis, 85 will be visiting Malta for two days in April. This was announced this morning by Apostolic Nuncio Alessandro D’Errico during the Pontifical Mass celebrating the national feast of St Paul’s Shipwreck.
Nuncio D’Errico announced that Pope Francis will be in Malta on 2 and 3 April. He said the Pope will visit Valletta, Rabat, Floriana and Hal Far, and Gozo. In Hal Far, Pope Francis will most probably will be visiting the centre hosting migrants. However, further details about the pastoral visit will be published in the coming weeks. A delegation from the Vatican will soon be visiting Malta in preparation ahead of the visit.
The Archbishop’s Curia has already published the logo which will be used in connection to the papal visit. The chosen theme for the upcoming visit “they showed us unusual kindness” was taken from the Acts of the Apostles referring to the shipwreck of St. Paul and how the apostle found the Maltese people to be extraordinarily welcoming, which has given Malta a reputation for hospitality.
The Maltese government said the apostolic visit comes after Prime Minister Robert Abela visited the Holy See in October when it was discussed.
Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela said this will be an opportunity for Malta to unite and means that the Holy See looked at Malta in a positive manner. “The news was emotional,” he said, adding he looked forward to welcoming the Pope” among the Maltese people.
Pope Francis’ first apostolic journey to Malta was scheduled for 31 May 2020. However, the Covid-19 pandemic, disrupted the original plans.
The Holy See did not wish to visit Malta close to an electoral campaign, and it is expected it that Prime Minister Robert Abela will seek the dissolution of Parliament within a few weeks, so that an election can be held in mid-March.