The Vatican releases a revised programme for Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journeys to Mozambique, Madagascar, and Mauritius, set to take place on September 4-10.
(All times are local)
Wednesday, 4 September 2019
Mozambique (GMT +2): Rome-Maputo
– 8 AM: Departure from Rome’s Fiumicino airport
– 6:30 PM: Welcome ceremony upon arrival at Maputo airport
Thursday, 5 September
– 9:45 AM: Courtesy visit to the president at the Palacio da Ponta Vermelha
– 10:15 AM: Meeting with authorities, leaders of civil society, and the diplomatic corps at the Palacio da Ponta Vermelha (Speech by the Pope)
– 11 AM: Interreligious meeting with young people at the Maxaquene Pavilion. (Speech by the Pope)
– Lunch at the Apostolic Nunciature
– 4:15 PM: Meeting with bishops, priests, religious, seminarians and catechists at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception (Speech by the Pope)
Friday, 6 September
– 8:45 AM: Visit to Zimpeto Hospital near Maputo (Greeting by the Pope)
– 10 AM: Mass in Zimpeto Stadium (Homily by the Pope)
– 12:25 PM: Farewell ceremony at Maputo airport
-12:40 PM: Departure from Maputo for Antananarivo, Madagascar
– 4:30 PM: Arrival ceremony at Antananarivo airport
Saturday, 7 September
Madagascar (GMT +3): Antananarivo
– 9:30 AM: Courtesy visit to the president in the Iavoloha Palace
– 10:15 AM: Meeting with government authorities, leaders of civil society, and the diplomatic corps in the Ceremony Building (Speech by the Pope)
– 11:15 AM: Recitation of midday prayer in the Discalced Carmelite monastery (Homily by the Pope)
– Lunch in the Apostolic Nunciature
– 4 PM: Meeting with the bishops of Madagascar in the Andohalo Cathedral (Speech by the Pope)
– 5:10 PM: Visit to the tomb of Blessed Victoire Rasoamanarivo.
– 6 PM: Vigil with young people at the Soamandrakizay diocesan field (Speech by the Pope)
Sunday, 8 September
– 10 AM: Mass at the Soamandrakizay diocesan field (Homily by the Pope)
– Lunch with the papal entourage at the Nunciature
– 3:10 PM: Visit to the Akamasoa “Community of Good Friends” (Greeting by the Pope)
– 4 PM: Prayer for workers at the Mahatzana building site (Prayer by the Pope)
– 5:10 PM: Meeting with priests, religious, and seminarians in the College of St. Michael (Speech by the Pope)
Monday, 9 September
Madagascar: Antananarivo – Port Louis, Mauritius (GMT +4) – Antananarivo
– 7:30 AM: Departure by airplane for Port Louis
– 10:40 AM: Arrival ceremony at the Port Louis airport
– 12:15 PM: Mass at the monument to Mary, Queen of Peace (Homily by the Pope)
– Lunch with members of the Episcopal Conference of the Indian Ocean.
– 4:25 PM: Private visit to the Shrine of Blessed Jacques-Desire Laval, the “apostle of Mauritus”
– 4:55 PM: Courtesy visit with the president in the presidential palace
– 5:15 PM: Meeting with the prime minister in the presidential palace
– 5:40 PM: Meeting with government authorities, leaders of civil society, and the diplomatic corps in the presidential palace (Speech by the Pope)
– 6:45 PM: Farewell ceremony at the Port Louis airport
– 7 PM: Departure by airplane to Antananarivo
Tuesday, 10 September
Madagascar: Antananarivo – Rome
– 9 AM: Farewell ceremony at the Antananarivo airport
– 9:20 AM: Departure for Rome
Pope Francis begins the 31st apostolic journey of his pontificate on Wednesday. This time he travels to Africa, visiting Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius from 6 to 10 September.
His second stop in the 3-nation visit will be Madagascar, 6-8 September.
Ahead of his visit, the Pope sends a video message to the people of Madagascar, thanking them for their preparation for his visit. Speaking in Italian, he particularly thanks them for their “prayer, whether personal, in families, in parish communities or in hospitals and prisons.”
Stressing that prayer knows no boundaries, he says, “when I am in Madagascar, even if I can visit only a few places, with prayer I will reach everyone, and I will implore God’s blessing for all.”READ ALSO06/08/2019
The Pope notes that Madagascar is “famous for its natural beauty, and for this, we say: “Laudato si!”. He says “it is our duty to look after it with care.”
However, there is another beauty that is “even more dear to Christ and to the Pope: that of His people, that is your holiness!” the Pope notes. For this reason, he says, “I will come to confirm you in faith and at the same time to draw from it.” He prays to the Blessed Virgin to obtain for them this gift.
“Thank you and see you soon!” the Pope concludes.
The Pope will arrive in the morning in the Madagascan capital, Antananarivo, from Maputo, Mozambique, on 7 September. During his some 86-hour visit, mostly in the capital, he is scheduled to deliver 7 speeches, including 2 homilies and a greeting. In the morning of 9 September, he flies to Mauritius, the final leg of his Africa visit.
– 7 PM: Arrival at Rome’s Ciampino airpor
The Pope sets off on his Apostolic Journey to Mozambique, Madagascar, and Mauritius next Wednesday.
His first stop is in Maputo, the Mozambiqan capital, where he will meet with civil, interreligious, and Church authorities, and celebrate Mass for local Catholics.
Speaking in Portuguese in a video message sent Friday ahead of his arrival, Pope Francis said his heart reaches out to embrace all the people of Mozambique, even though he is “unable to go beyond the capital”.
Some had hoped he might visit areas hit by Cyclone Idai earlier this year, which caused widespread destruction and loss of life, especially in the coastal city of Beira. At least 600 people died as the storm brought massive flooding and high winds.
But Pope Francis did not forget them, saying that his fraternal embrace extends especially to “those who live in difficult situations.”
“I would like to leave you with this certainty: you are all in my prayers. I look forward to meeting you,” he said.
Reconciliation and peace
The Holy Father went on to thank Mozambique’s president and Catholic bishops for inviting him to visit.
He urged everyone to pray with him for the reconciliation process underway in the country.
The Pope said “fraternal reconciliation” is needed in Mozambique and throughout Africa, calling it “the only hope for a solid and lasting peace.”
The Catholic Church – particularly through the St Egidio Community –worked tirelessly to help seal a peace deal between warring factions. The ruling Frelimo party and former guerrilla movement, Renamo, signed a permanent ceasefire in early August 2019.
Confirm Catholic community
Pope Francis also made mention of Pope St John Paul II’s visit in 1988, when the civil war was still raging.
The Holy Father said his journey will allow him to see how the seed of peace sown by his predecessor is growing.
“This Journey will allow me to meet the Catholic community and confirm it in its witness to the Gospel,” he said, “which affirms the dignity of every man and woman and asks us to open our hearts to others, especially the poor and needy.”
Gratitude for prayers
The Pope closed his greetings to the people of Mozambique by extending his thanks to those preparing for his visit through their hard work and prayers.
And he prayed that God might bless the nation’s people and that the Virgin Mary protect them.
“See you soon!” he said.