Pope to travel to Cairo in April and to Fatima in May

File photo: Pope Francis (R) and Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt Pope Tawadros II shake hands, 10 May 2013.

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis will travel to Cairo Egypt at the end of April and to Fatima Portugal in May.

A statement dated 18 March 2017  from Greg Burke, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, has confirmed that Pope Francis will visit Egypt at the end of April.

“In response to the invitation from the President of the Republic, the Bishops of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Grand Imam of the Mosque of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayyib, His Holiness Pope Francis will make an Apostolic trip to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017, visiting the city of Cairo. The programme of the trip will be published shortly.”

The papal trip to Egypt will be Pope Francis’ eighteenth pastoral visit outside of Italy.

Two days later on Mar 20, the Vatican released the schedule of Pope Francis’ trip to Fatima in Portugal, scheduled for May 12-13.

The Holy Father will arrive on Friday by plane at the Monte Real air base in the afternoon, where he will be welcomed by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

He will then travel by helicopter to the Stadium of Fatima before travelling by car to the Fatima Shrine. Whilst there, the Pope will pray at the Chapel of the Apparitions, greet pilgrims present, and recite the Holy Rosary with them.

On Saturday, Pope Francis will meet with Prime Minister António Costa at the “Nossa Senhora do Carmo” House. Afterwards, he will travel to the Basilica of “Nossa Senhora do Rosário de Fatima” to celebrate Holy Mass.

His final stop is a lunch with the bishops of Portugal at the “Nossa Senhora do Carmo” House. Pope Francis will then return to Rome via Rome’s Ciampino Airport. – Vatican Radio

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