VATICAN: Holy See Releases Program of Pope’s Trip to Egypt

VATICAN CITY APRIL 4, 2017(CISA) – The Vatican has released the itinerary for Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Egypt on April 28-29.

According to the program released on March 3, Pope Francis will arrive at Cairo International Airport around 14:00 on Friday where he will be welcomed at the Presidential Palace in Heliopolis before making a courtesy visit to the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar.

He will then address participants in the International Conference on Peace before visiting His Holiness Pope Tawadros II.

On Saturday, the Holy Father will celebrate Mass and then have lunch with Egyptian bishops.

His last event in Egypt will be a prayer meeting with clergy, religious men and women, and seminarians. He will then depart by air from Cairo International Airport at 1700hrs.

In mid March, the Vatican confirmed the pope would make the trip following an invitation from Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the Catholic bishops in Egypt, Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II and Sheikh Ahmad el-Tayeb, Grand imam of al-Azhar.

Pope Francis visit to Egypt will be his second to Africa. On November 25-30, 2015 he visited Kenya, Uganda and Central Africa Republic (CAR).

The trip will also be Pope Francis’ 18th trip abroad in his four years as pope and the seventh time he visits a Muslim-majority nation.

He will be the second pope to visit Egypt, after St. John Paul II went to Cairo and Mount Sinai in 2000.

There are 272,000 baptized Catholics in Egypt, less than 0.5 percent of the population, which is 90 percent Sunni Muslim.

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