pastoral visit to Venice Photo: Vatican Media

Pope Francis’ Visit to Venice

A women’s prison, meeting with the world of art, before thousands of young people, Mass in the main Square and a visit to the tomb of Saint Mark, marked Pope Francis’ Sunday agenda in Venice.

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(ZENIT News / Rome, 28.04.2024).- At 6:32 am on Sunday, April 28, Pope Francis left by helicopter from the Vatican heliport, to carry out a pastoral visit to Venice.

On his arrival, at 7:55 am, after landing in the inner courtyard of the Women’s Prison of Venice-Giudecca, the Holy Father was received by the Patriarch of Venice, Bishop Francesco Moraglia; the Minister of Justice, Carlo Nodio; the Superintendent, Rosella Santoro; the Directress of the institution, Mariagrazia Felicita Bregoli; and the commander of the Penitentiary Police, Lara Boco.

The Pontiff met with the inmates in the prison’s in the inner courtyard.  Also present were the administrative staff, the penitentiary police gents and some volunteers.

After greeting the inmates individually, the Pope gave his address.

At the end of the meeting, before leaving the prison’s inner courtyard, to go to the Magdalene Church to meet with artists, the Holy Father gave the inmates a painting with the image of the Virgin and Child, and the inmates gave the Pope products they had made in the prison’s workshops. Then the women thanked the Pontiff for his visit.

Meeting with Artists

After his meeting with the prison’s inmates in the inner courtyard, Pope Francis went to the Magdalene Church  (the Prison’s Chapel) to meet with artists. He was welcomed by Cardinal Jose Tolentino de Mendonca, Prefect of the Dicastery for Culture and Education and Commissioner of the Holy See’s Pavilion in Venice’s Art Biennial.

After Cardinal Tolentino’s greeting, Pope Francis gave his address.

At the end, after greeting the Authorities and the artists taking part in the Exhibition, Pope Francis left the Island of Giudecca and went by motor boat to the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute for the meeting with young people.

Meeting with Young People

At 9:35 am the Holy Father met with the young people of Venice and of the Veneto diocese in the Piazzale in front of the Basilica della Salute.

After a tour in an electric car among the approximately 1,500 young people present, and after listening to the greetings of some young people, the Pope gave his address. Then, accompanied by a delegation of young people, he crossed over the pontoon bridge that joins the Basilica with Saint Mark’s Square, where the Eucharistic Celebration took place.

Mass in the Cathedral of Venice

After crossing the bridge that joins the Basilica with Saint Mark’s Square, the Holy Father was welcomed at the entrance of the Square by the President of the Veneto Region, Luca Zaia; the Prefect of Venice, Dr Darco Pellos; and the city’s Mayor, Dr Luigi Brugnaro. After a drive in an electric car among some 10,500 faithful and pilgrims present in Saint Mark’s Square, at 10:40 the Pope presided over the Holy Mass.

At the end of the Eucharistic Celebration, after the words of thanksgiving of the Patriarch of Venice, Monsignor Francesco Moraglia, the Holy Father led the praying of the Regina Caeli.

Before leaving the Square, the Pope entered privately in the Basilica to venerate the Saint’s relics. Then, after boarding the motor boat, he arrived at the inner courtyard of the Women’s Prison of the Isand of Giudecca, from where, after taking leave of the Civil Authorities and the women religious who welcomed him on his arrival, he left by helicopter to return to Rome.

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