Tag - visit

Pope Francis departs on an Apostolic visit to Columbia



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has departed on an Apostolic visit to Columbia. The Holy Father took off from Rome’s Fiumicino airport shortly after 11 am Rome time this morning.

He is expected to land in Bogota at 23.30 Rome time tonight.

During his visit he will also visit the cities of Villavicencio, Medellín and Cartagena before returning to Rome on the morning of 11th September.

As has become tradition, Pope Francis on Tuesday afternoon visited the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore to pray before the icon of the Virgin Mary, Salus Populi Romani.

In a tweet before his departure the Pope said, “Dear Friends, please pray for me and all of Colombia, where I will be travelling for a journey dedicated to reconciliation and peace.”

(from Vatican Radio)



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Pope Francis sends video message ahead of Colombia visit



(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Monday sent a video message to the people of Colombia ahead of his Apostolic Journey to the country on 6-11 September, inviting them to “take the first step” towards peace.

Listen to Devin Watkins’ report:



With just a handful of days to go before his Apostolic Journey, Pope Francis invited all Colombians to “take the first step” in reaching out to their neighbor in a sign of peace.

He thanked those “who welcome me to your land and into your heart” for their many efforts to prepare his visit.

“Let us take the first step” is the theme of his Apostolic Journey to Colombia, and the Holy Father said it “urges us to be the first to love, in order to build bridges and create solidarity.”

He said Colombia has long yearned and worked for peace, which, he said, should be “a stable and lasting peace, so that we see and treat each other as brothers and not as enemies.”

“Peace,” he said, “reminds us that we are all children of the same Father, who loves and consoles us.”

Pope Francis went on to say he is “honored to visit this land so rich in history, culture, and faith.”

He called Colombia a land “of men and women who have labored with tenacity and perseverance to make it a place where harmony and solidarity reign, where the Gospel is known and loved, and where saying ‘brother and sister’ seems not out of place but a true treasure to protect and defend.”

Finally, the Holy Father said the Church is called “to the task of promoting reconciliation, both with the Lord and between brothers, as well as reconciliation with the environment, which is God’s Creation and which we are savagely exploiting.”

Please find below a Vatican Radio English-language translation of the video:

Dear people of Colombia, in just a few days I will visit your country. I come as a pilgrim of hope and peace to celebrate with you the faith in our Lord and also to learn from your charity and perseverance in search of peace and harmony.

I cordially greet and thank the President of the Republic and the bishops of the Episcopal Conference for the invitation to visit Colombia. I also thank each of you, who welcome me to your land and into your heart. I know that you have worked so very hard to prepare this encounter. My appreciation goes to all who have collaborated – and continue to – so that it may become a reality.

“Let us take the first step” is the theme of this Journey. It reminds us that a first step is always required for any activity or project. It also urges us to be the first to love, in order to build bridges and create solidarity. Taking the first step encourages us to reach out to our neighbor, to extend a helping-hand, and to offer a sign of peace. Peace is what Colombia has sought after for a long time, and she is working to achieve it: A stable and lasting peace, so that we see and treat each other as brothers and not as enemies. Peace reminds us that we are all children of the same Father, who loves and consoles us. I am honored to visit this land so rich in history, culture, and faith. [It is a land] of men and women who have labored with tenacity and perseverance to make it a place where harmony and solidarity reign, where the Gospel is known and loved, and where saying ‘brother and sister’ seems not out of place but a true treasure to protect and defend. Today’s world needs specialists in peace and dialogue. The Church also is called to the task of promoting reconciliation, both with the Lord and between brothers, as well as reconciliation with the environment, which is God’s Creation and which we are savagely exploiting.

My dear Colombian brothers and sisters, I yearn to live these days with you with a joyous spirit and with gratitude to the Lord. I warmly embrace you and ask the Lord to bless you, to protect your country, and to give you peace. And I ask our Mother, the Holy Virgin, to watch over you. And, please, don’t forget to pray for me. Thank you and see you soon.

 

(from Vatican Radio)



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Pope Francis to visit Myanmar, Bangladesh in November



(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis will make an Apostolic Journey to Myanmar from 27 to 30 November 2017 and to Bangladesh from 30 November to 2 December 2017.

Listen to Devin Watkins’ report:



Greg Burke, Director of the Holy See Press Office, made the official announcement in a statement on Monday, also revealing the logos for the trip

He said the Pope had welcomed “the invitation of the respective heads of state and bishops”.

Whilst in Myanmar (also known as Burma), Pope Francis will visit the cities of Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw. In Bangladesh the Pope will visit Dhaka.

The programme for the Pope’s Apostolic Journey will be published shortly.

(from Vatican Radio)



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Vatican releases logos for Pope Francis’ visit to Bangladesh, Myanmar



(Vatican Radio)  The Vatican on Monday released the official logos for Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Myanmar and Bangladesh.

The Pope travels to Myanmar (also known as Burma) on 27-30 November and to Bangladesh on 30 November-2 December 2017.

Myanmar logo

The logo for his visit to Myanmar depicts Pope Francis releasing a white dove from within a heart drawn in the colors of Myanmar’s flag: yellow, green, and red.

An outline of Myanmar’s landmass sits beside the Pope within the heart, while the motto for his journey is shown above: “Love & Peace”.

Bangladesh logo

The logo for Pope Francis’ visit to Bangladesh has colored streamers in the shape of a dove, with a cross raised over a water lily (Bangladesh’s national flower) within it.

Above, the official motto for the Apostolic Journey, “Harmony and Peace”, is written in red.

(from Vatican Radio)



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Pope’s India visit could be postponed to 2018 – Card. Gracias ‎



It is very likely that the visit of Pope Francis to India and Bangladesh planned for the end of this year, could be postponed to next year, a prominent Indian Catholic Church leader said on Thursday.  In an interview to National Catholic Reporter (NCR) on June 15, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay said that discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government about a papal visit this year have taken longer than expected. 

I am beginning to lose hope about 2017,” said the cardinal who is the president of both the Latin-rite bishops’ group, the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), as well as the  Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC).  “We are already in June. Even if they suddenly say, ‘Come,’ it is a pastoral visit … [it] will take several months for the dioceses to prepare the people,” Card. Gracias said.  “It should not just be a flash in the pan, he comes and goes,” he said, explaining that when Pope St. John Paul II visited India in 1999, the Indian bishops “planned for almost a year before he came to make it effective.”

Pope Francis first hinted about a possible visit to India and Bangladesh in 2017 during and in-flight press conference on October 2, 2016, while returning from a visit to Azerbaijan.  Again in an interview to German weekly Die Zeit in March, the Pope spoke about his visit to India and Bangladesh, without giving dates.  Earlier, Bangladeshi Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario had told reporters that given the weather conditions of Bangladesh, October-November would be ideal for a papal visit.  

Second papal visit to be postponed this year

The India-Bangladesh visit would be the second papal visit to be postponed this year, after that of South Sudan.  Originally planned for autumn this year, the Vatican confirmed on May 30 that the visit to the war-torn African nation wound not  take place in 2017.  South Sudan’s deteriorating security situation obviously appeared to be reason.

Card. Gracias told NCR that working with the Indian government to prepare the papal visit has been “a little bit of ‎a difficult situation” as Modi’s calendar has been filled up with state visits from other leaders.‎  ‎”We have to find a good spot where we can give the Holy Father his due importance and respect,” Card. Gracias ‎said.‎  (Source: NCR)

(from Vatican Radio)



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Pope’s message of thanks to Tawadros II following Egypt visit



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a message to His Holiness Pope Tawadros II thanking him for his hospitality and for their “moving meeting and common prayer as brothers in Christ”, during his recent visit to Egypt.

Please find below the Holy Father’s message

To His Holiness Tawadros II

Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark

 

Dear Brother,

After my visit to Egypt and the blessed encounter with Your Holiness in Cairo, and recalling the fourth anniversary of our fraternal meeting in Rome on 10 May 2013, I take this opportunity to offer my prayerful best wishes for your peace and health, as well as my joy and gratitude for the spiritual bonds uniting the See of Peter and the See of Mark.

I once more express my profound appreciation for your hospitality and for our moving meeting and common prayer as brothers in Christ.  I am especially grateful that we have strengthened our baptismal unity in the body of Christ by declaring together “that we, with one mind and heart, will seek sincerely not to repeat the baptism that has been administered in either of our Churches for any person who wishes to join the other”.  Our bonds of fraternity “challenge us to intensify our common efforts to persevere in the search for visible unity in diversity, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit”.

Along this path we are sustained by the powerful intercession and example of the martyrs.  May we continue to advance together on our journey towards the same Eucharistic table, and grow in love and reconciliation.

I assure Your Holiness of my continued prayers for you, and for peace in Egypt and the Middle East.  In this Easter season I pray that the Holy Spirit, the strength and tenderness of God, may fill our hearts with his grace and kindle in them the fire of his love.  May the Spirit of peace bestow on us an increase of hope, friendship and harmony.

With these sentiments, on this special occasion which has rightly become known as the day of friendship between the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church, I exchange with Your Holiness a fraternal embrace of peace in Christ our Lord.

From the Vatican, 10 May 2017

(from Vatican Radio)



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Pope Francis departs on Apostolic visit to Egypt



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has departed from Rome’s Fiumicino airport on an Apostolic visit to Egypt. He is due to arrive in Cairo at 2pm this afternoon.

Whilst there the Pope will meet with the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II, as well as with Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Egypt’s al-Azhar university.

The Holy Father will be in Egypt for just 24 hours on a visit that will include the solemn celebration of Mass on Saturday morning.

Vatican Radio’s Stefano Leszczynski is in Cairo covering the Pope’s visit and spoke to us about expectations and the tight security for this trip.

Listen: 

 

(from Vatican Radio)



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