John Paul II´s Itinerary Outlined

Highlight Will Be Beatifications

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 22, 2001 ( On Saturday, John Paul II begins a five-day visit to Ukraine that is expected to attract 2 million people.

The Holy Father´s visit to Kiev, the cradle of Russian Christianity, aims to promote dialogue with the Orthodox Church.

The Pontiff will arrived shortly after midday, local time, in Kiev´s international airport. Following the welcome ceremony, during which he will explain the reason for his visit, he will go directly to the Apostolic Nunciature, where he will reside during his three-day stay in Kiev.

On Saturday afternoon, the Holy Father will make a courtesy visit to President Leonid D. Kuchma, in the Mariyinskyi presidential palace. This will be followed by a meeting with political, cultural, scientific and business leaders.

On Sunday, the Pope will celebrate a Latin-rite Mass in Chayka airport, on the outskirts of Kiev. That afternoon, he will meet with members of the Pan-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations, in the palace of the Kiev National Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Pope will leave Kiev on Monday from Chayka airport, after celebrating Mass in the Byzantine rite.

On Monday afternoon, John Paul II will travel to Lviv, the Ukrainian city with the largest number of Catholics.

While in Lviv he will beatify 27 martyrs of Communism and Nazism, most of whom are Greek-Catholics, victims of Stalin´s fierce repression.

The Pope will also beatify three confessors of the faith, leaders of Ukrainian Catholicism at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. On Tuesday, he will meet with thousands of Ukrainian youths.

The Pontiff returns to Rome on Wednesday afternoon, after a marathon trip during which he will have delivered 11 speeches and homilies.

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