Malta ready to welcome Pope Francis with open arms

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Malta is ready to welcome Pope Francis with great enthusiasm and joy, the fourth papal visit to the Mediterranean island and the first in 16 years. Pope Francis is expected to land in Malta on Saturday morning for a two-day visit.

Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi said the Popès visit is “a message of hope for the challenges we face” and a message of love for the most vulnerable in society. “We hope that this visit will sow a seed of love, hope and faith which the country can reap in the future.”

Following the arrival ceremony at the Malta International Airport at 10am, he will be driven to the President’s Palace in Valletta, to meet President George Vella. A meeting is also scheduled with the new-elected Prime Minister Robert Abela. Pope Francis will also be meeting with the highest authorities of Malta and the diplomatic corps.

On Saturday afternoon, the Pope will depart the Grand Harbour aboard a fast ferry which will take him to Gozo where he will lead a prayer meeting at the The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of Tà Pinu.

On Sunday morning, after a private meeting with the Jesuits at the Apostolic Nunciature, the Pope will visit St. Paul’s Grotto in St. Paul’s Basilica in Rabat. In St. Paul’s Grotto, which was visited by previous popes, Pope Francis will recite a special prayer related to the theme of his 36th apostolic journey, ‘They Showed Us Unusual Kindness’ – inspired by the welcome St Paul was given when his boat was shipwrecked and washed upon Maltàs shores in 60AD.

At 10:15am, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass in Floriana which will also include the Angelus prayers. As many as 12,000 people had registered to attend the mass.

Before leaving Malta, Pope Francis will visit migrants at the Peace Laboratory in ?al Far. Pope Francis will be hearing the testimony of migrants and later recite prayers and give his blessing. The visit is taking place upon the Popès own request to meet migrants during his visit to Malta.

Pope Francis will then be driven to the Malta International Airport where a departure ceremony will be held before the Pontiff will fly back to Rome. The visit was originally planned for 2020 but had to be postponed because of the global pandemic.


Source: medNews