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Pope Francis Kicks Off Day One in Romania (ZENIT Is on the Papal Flight)

Francis Met 15 Homeless Romanians at His Residence Before Boarding Flight, Which Zenit French Journalist Anne Kurian Is Aboard

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Pope Francis is embarking on his three-day visit to Romania, May 31 – June 2, having taken off in his Alitalia flight with his papal entourage and journalists.
ZENIT French journalist, Anne Kurian, is following on the papal flight. The visit marks Francis’ 30th Apostolic Visit abroad and his 45th country visited.
Before leaving for the airport, according to the Vatican, Francis met with a group of 15 Romanians, who are homeless and living in Rome. Last evening, as is tradition before his trips, the Holy Father went to Rome’s Marian Basilica, Santa Maria Maggiore, to pray to the Blessed Mother.
The Holy Father is expected to focus on ecumenical dialogue, as it is a majority Orthodox nation, and to encourage the country’s small Catholic flock, which, according to Vatican figures is about 7.2 percent of the population.

The Vatican on April 25, 2019, released the updated program below for the trip:

Apostolic Trip of His Holiness Francis to Romania – Updated Program

Journey May 31 – June 2, 2019
The program of the Apostolic Trip of His Holiness Francis to Romania was published on March 25, 2019; the following is the updated program:

Friday 31 May 2019
08:10 Departure by air from Rome-Fiumicino Airport for Bucharest
11:30 Arrival at Henri Coandă-Otopeni International Airport in Bucharest
OFFICIAL WELCOME at the airport
12:05 WELCOME CEREMONY at the entrance of the complex of the Cotroceni Presidential Palace
12:20 COURTESY VISIT TO THE PRESIDENT OF ROMANIA in the Cotroceni Presidential Palace
12:50 MEETING WITH THE PRIME MINISTER in the Cotroceni Presidential Palace
13:00 MEETING with the AUTHORITIES, with CIVIL SOCIETY and with the DIPLOMATIC CORPS in the Unirii Hall of the Cotroceni Palace Address of the Holy Father
15:45 PRIVATE MEETING WITH THE PATRIARCH in the Palace of the Patriarchate
16:15 MEETING WITH THE PERMANENT SYNOD OF THE ROMANIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH in the Palace of the Patriarchate Address of the Holy Father
17.00 THE LORD’S PRAYER in the new Orthodox Cathedral Greeting of the Holy Father
18.10 HOLY MASS in the Catholic Saint Joseph Cathedral Homily of the Holy Father
Saturday 1 June 2019
09:30 Departure by air for Bacau
10:10 Arrival at Bacau Airport and transfer by helicopter to the Air Base of the Mountain Brigade of Miercurea-Ciuc
11:30 HOLY MASS in the Shrine of Sumuleu-Ciuc Homily of the Holy Father
Helicopter transfer to Iasi Airport
17:45 MARIAN MEETING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE AND FAMILIES in the square in front of the Palace of  Culture in Iasi Address of the Holy Father
19:00 Departure by air for Bucarest
20:00 Arrival at Henri Coandă-Otopeni International Airport in Bucharest
Sunday 2 June 2019
09:00 Departure by air for Sibiu
09:40 Arrival at Sibiu Airport and transfer by helicopter to Blaj
11:00 DIVINE LITURGY with the Beatification of 7 Greek-Catholic Martyr bishops in the Field of Liberty in Blaj Homily of the Holy Father
Regina Coeli
13:25 Lunch with the Papal entourage
15:45 MEETING WITH THE ROM COMMUNITY OF BLAJ Greeting of the Holy Father
16:35 Transfer by helicopter to Sibiu Airport
17:20 FAREWELL CEREMONY at Sibiu Airport
17:30 Departure of the Papal aircraft for Rome-Ciampino Airport
18:45 Arrival at Rome-Ciampino Airport
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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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