Pope Francis will make a pastoral visit to the Dioceses of Piazza Armerina and Palermo on September 15, on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the death of Blessed Pino Puglisi.
This was announced in a communiqué from the Prefecture of the Papal Household on May 26, 2018. During the visit, Francis will have lunch with detainees and immigrants.
The program of the Pope’s day trip, published by the Vatican on May 28, explained that the Pontiff will go first to the Diocese of Piazza Armerina, an area located in the center of Sicily, suffering economic difficulties and problems linked to immigration. Then, he will go to the Diocese of Palermo, diocese of Sicilian priest Pino Puglisi, who was murdered by the Mafia in front of his house — piazza Anita Garibaldi, in the Brancaccio district –, on September 15, 1993, his 56th birthday.
6:30 am – Departure by car from Saint Martha’s House in the Vatican.
7:00 am – Take-off from Ciampino sirport for Catania, where the Pope should land at 7:50 am.
8:00 am – At the Catania-Fontanarossa airport, the Pontiff will go by helicopter to the Piazza Armerina municipality in the Enna province.
8:30 am – Landing at the “San Ippolito” sports field. Monsignor Rosario Gisana, Bishop of Piazza Armerina; Mayor Filippo Miroddi and Maria Rita Leonardi, Prefect of Enna, will welcome the Holy Father.
9:00 am The Pope will be awaited at Piazza Europa, where he will arrive by car to meet the faithful to whom he will give an address.
10:00 am –End of the first stage of this visit: the Holy Father will go by car to “San Ippolito” Stadium, where he will take leave of the Authorities and take-off at 10:15 am for Palermo on board a helicopter.
10:45 am – The Pope will land at Porto di Palermo, where he will be received by Monsignor Corrado Lorefice, Archbishop of Palermo; Mayor Leoluca Orlando; Prefect Antonella De Miro and Nello Musumeci, President of the Sicily Region.
11:45 am The Pope will celebrate Mass at the Foro Italico, liturgical memorial of Blessed Pino Puglisi, born in the Brancaccio district of Palermo.
1:30 pm – Lunch with detainees and immigrants at the “Hope and Charity” Mission (“Speranza e Carita”), founded by Fra’ Biagio Conte to receive needy persons.
3:00 pm Private visit to San Gaetano parish, where Blessed Pino Puglisi was parish priest, and to his house.
3:30 pm Meeting with the clergy, the religious and the seminarians of the diocese at the Cathedral. The Holy Father will address them.
5:00 pm – Last stage of the day: the Pope will meet with young people in Piazza Politeana.
6:30 pm – He will leave from the Palermo-Punta Raisi airport to land at 7:20 pm at Rome’s Ciampino airport.