Francis, Third Pontiff to Visit Colombia

Paul VI Went in 1968 and John Paul II in 1986

Pope Francis on one of his many travels© L'Osservatore Romano

Pope Francis on one of his many travels© L'Osservatore Romano

The Apostolic Journey the Pontiff is preparing to undertake to Colombia from September 6-11, 2017, will begin in the capital, Bogota. It will continue on the 8th in Villavicencio, where he will beatify two Colombian priests: Jesus Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve and Pedro Maria Ramirez Ramos.

In “Il Sismografo” Luis Badilla pointed out that Pope Francis will travel 19,650 kilometres those days, between Rome, Bogota and Cartagena (round trip). To this must be added the 1,528 kilometers he will cover in national trips between the capital, Bogota, and Rio Negro/Medellin, Cartagena and Villavicencio. The Holy Father will give 12 addresses: five discourses, four homilies, two greetings and one Angelus.

Third Pope in Colombia

According to Badilla in “Tierras de America,” Francis will arrive in the early hours of the afternoon of Wednesday, September 6 and he will stay in Bogota the whole of the following day. From the capital, the Pope will then go to visit other cities of the country – Villavicencio, Medellin and Cartagena – his return to Italy planned for Monday, September 11.

Badilla pointed out that “Francis is the third Pope to visit Colombia after Paul VI in 1986 and John Paul II in 1986.” “Paul VI was in Bogota from August 22-25, 1968, and Saint John Paul II from July 1-3, 1986. Whereas Pope Paul VI only visited the capital, Pope John Paul II went to 12 localities between the 1st and 8th of the month, including Bogota, Chiquinquira, Tumaco, Cauca, Cali, Chinchina, Pereira,, Medellin, Armero, Bucaramanga, Cartagena and Barranquilla,” noted Badilla.

Beatification

According to the program, after visiting the Colombian capital, the Pope will beatify two Colombian priests in Villavicencio.

On Friday, September 8, the Pontiff will travel to Villavicencio, where there will be an important moment of prayer for the nation’s reconciliation, to celebrate the peace Colombia recovered only a few months ago.

Subsequently, in the same city, there will be a moment of profound devotion when Francis beatifies the Bishop of Arauca, Jesus Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve, murdered by the Army of National Liberation on October 2, 1989, and Father Pedro Maria Ramirez Ramos, who died on April 10, 1948.

Badilla mentioned that as announced last July 7, 2017, the Pope has approved the decree recognizing the martyrdom of both priests, killed out of hatred for the faith. Last July 21, the Substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, Monsignor Angelo Becciu, sent the Bishop of Villavicenncio, Monsignor Urbina Ortega, a document confirming that the Holy Father will preside over the rite of Beatification of the two Colombian Religious.

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester

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