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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Departing Georgia

At 8:00am local time this morning, the Holy Father, Pope Francis departed from Georgia.  Upon his arrival at the Tbilisi international airport, he was welcomed by the President of Georgia, Mister Giorgi Margvelashvili and by the Patriarchal Catholicos of all Georgia, His Holiness and Beatitude, Ilia II, with whom he held a brief meeting.

Following the playing of the national anthems and an exchange of greetings between the members of the official delegations, the Pope climbed aboard the Alitalia A321 aircraft for the transfer to Azerbaijan.  The flight arrived in Baku at 9:11am (1:11am EDT), following a flight of a little more than an hour.

Upon his arrival at the Heydar Aliyev international airport in Baku, the Holy Father, Pope Francis was welcomed by the Deputy Prime Minister.  Immediately afterward, he travelled by car to the Church of the Immaculate Conception, near the Salesian Centre in that city for the celebration of a Mass.

Telegram of His Holiness, Pope Francis
sent to the President of the Republic of Georgia

His Excellency, Giorgi Margvelashvili
President of the Republic of Georgia

As I leave Georgia for my pastoral visit to Azerbaijan, I express my heartfelt appreciation to Your Excellency and the beloved people of the nation for your generous welcome and hospitality.  Upon all of you I willingly invoke God’s abundant blessings of peace and prosperity.


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