Saturday, March 30, 2019

Travelling to Morocco

This morning, the Holy Father, Pope Francis began his 28th international Apostolic voyage to Marocco.

Before leaving the Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis met with a group of Moroccan migrants who are being housed in Italy by the Community of Sant'Egidio.  There were two families present, each of which has two children, as well as two women and one young man.  They were accompanied by the Apostolic Almoner, His Excellency, Konrad Krajewski.

Then, departing from the Vatican, the Holy Father travelled by car to Fiumicino International airport where, at 10:57am local time (5:57am EDT), he boarded an Alitalia A320 for the flight to Rabat.

The aircraft landed at the Rabat-Salé International Airport at 1:52pm local time (6:52am EDT).

Telegrams sent to Heads of States

At the moment when he departed from the Italian territory, the Holy Father, Pope Francis sent the following telegram to the President of the Italian Republic.

To His Excellency
The Honourable Sergio Mattarella
President of the Italian Republic
Palazzo del Quirinale 00187 Rome

At the moment when I am beginning my Apostolic Voyage to Marocco, to met with that noble people; to share moments of prayer, communion with the Catholic community; and to encourage inter-religious dialogue, I want to send my cordial greetings to you, Mister President, and all the Italian people, accompanied with my fervent wishes that Italy may always remain focused on the ethical and spiritual values of every person and of social living, all the while devoted to discovering inspired solutions to promote solidarity and concord.

Original text in Italian

While flying over France

His Excellency, Emmanuel Macron
President of the French Republic

As I fly over France on my way to Morocco for an Apostolic Visit, I extend Cordial Greetings to Your Excellency and your fellow citizens.  I pray for the gifts of peace and harmony in the national and I gladly invoke God's blessings upon you all.


While flying over Spain

His Majesty, Felipe VI
King of Spain

As I enter Spanish air space on my journey to Morocco, I extend cordial greetings to Your Majesty, the members of the Royal Family, and the people of Spain.  I invoke divine blessings upon you all, asking Almighty God to grant the nation the gift of well-being and peace.


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