Pope Francis has departed from Rome and is headed toward Mozambique.
This morning, at 8:04 a.m., the Alitalia papal flight, carrying the Pope, his entourage and journalists, took off from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport, en route for the African nation’s capital of Maputo.
At 7 a.m., before going to the airport, the Holy Father, in his residence Casa Santa Marta, met 12 migrants, assisted by the Astalli Center and by the Community of Sant’Egidio, from Mozambique, Madagascar, and Mauritius. The group was accompanied by Apostolic Almoner, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski.
The Holy Father’s Sept. 4-10 visit to the ‘three ‘M’s’ of Mozambique, Madagascar, and Mauritius, marks the Pope’s fourth visit to Africa, his second to Sub-Saharan Africa, and represent the Holy Father’s attention to the peripheries and the poor. It also marks his 31st Apostolic Trip.
Each of these nations had been visited by St. Pope John Paul II during his pontificate.
Yesterday, as is customary, Francis went to Rome’s Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore to entrust the trip to Our Lady’s help and protection.
After the Pope’s nearly 11-hour flight, the Pope will be arriving in the country’s capital of Maputo after 6:30 p.m. local time and will go direct to the residence of the apostolic nuncio where he will be staying during his time in the country. Tomorrow will mark his first full day.
On ZENIT’s Web page:
Pope’s Program for Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius: https://zenit.org/articles/vatican-issues-revised-program-for-popes-visit-to-mozambique-madagascar-and-mauritius/