Saturday, September 12, 2009

Video: Pope likely to visit Malta next year
Posted on September 12th, 2009

There is a good chance that Pope Benedict XVI will be visiting Malta next year, either in April or May, on the occasion of the 1950th anniversary of St Paul’s shipwreck, the Curia said in a statement on Saturday.

Following the invitation in previous months by the Bishops of Malta and the President of the Republic to the Pope to visit Malta, Dr Alberto Gasbarri, who is responsible for Pontifical Visits, will be visiting Malta in October to explore this possibility.

The Curia said that the Bishops encourage the faithful to pray for the Maltese islands to be blessed with this visit.

Meanwhile in a press statement, the Maltese government welcomed the announcement given by the Curia, saying that it will be working together with church authorities for the visit of Dr Gasbarri in the hope of a possible papal visit in April.

This visit of Pope Benedict XVI in Malta would be the third visit of a Pontiff in our country. During the four years of his Pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI made twelve Apostolic Visits outside Italy. In September this year, His Holiness will also visit the Czech Republic.

The first Pope to visit Malta was John Paul II in May 1990. Held between the 25th and 27th May, this visit was the Pope’s 48th Apostolic Trip outside Italy in the first 12 years of his Pontificate. John Paul II was elected Pope on the 16th October 1978.

On the 8th May 2001, His Holiness visited Malta once again as part of his Pauline pilgrimage during which he also visited Greece and Syria. On the second and last day of his visit, His Holiness beatified Dun Ġorġ Preca, Nazju Falzon and Adeodata Pisani.

Last year, Pope Benedict XVI declared a year dedicated to Saint Paul, known as the Pauline Year.

In Malta, the diocese of both Malta and Gozo organised various initiatives during which the faithful were encouraged to reflect on Saint Paul. To end the Pauline Year, Pope Benedict XVI sent his delegate to Malta, Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, to preside over the Eucharistic celebration held outside St. John’s Co-Cathedral.

Favourite Channel News reports in more detail:


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