Vatican releases details of Pope's trip to Caucasus

12 September 2016 | by Catholic News Service

Visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan at end of month will be Francis' 16th trip outside of Italy this year

With a focus on relations with the Orthodox and with Muslims, Pope Francis will visit Georgia and Azerbaijan between 30 September - 2 October.

The visit to the Caucasus nations will be Pope Francis' 16th trip outside of Italy. In July, the Vatican had released a list of the pope's scheduled activities during the trip, but without specific times for most events.

Here is the detailed schedule released by the Vatican. All times are local:


Friday, Sept. 30 (Rome, Tbilisi)

- 9am Departure from Rome's Fiumicino Airport.

- 3pm Arrival at Tbilisi International Airport. Welcoming ceremony.

- 3.30pm Courtesy visit to the president of the republic at the presidential palace.

- 4 pm Meeting with government authorities and members of civil society and the diplomatic corps in the courtyard of the presidential palace. Speech by pope.

- 4.40pm Meeting with Orthodox Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia at the patriarchal palace. Speech by patriarch. Speech by pope.

- 6 pm Meeting with Chaldean Catholics at the Church of St. Simon the Tanner. Prayer by pope.


Saturday, Oct. 1 (Tbilisi, Mtskheta)

- 10am Mass at Mikheil Meskhi Stadium. Homily by pope.

- 3.45pm Meeting with priests, men and women religious, seminarians and pastoral workers at the Church of the Assumption. Speech by pope.

- 5pm Meeting with volunteers and people receiving assistance from the Catholic Church near an assistance center run by the Order of St. Camillus. Greeting by pope.

- 6.15pm Visit to the Orthodox patriarchal Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta. Greeting by patriarch. Greeting by pope.


Sunday, Oct. 2 (Tbilisi, Baku)

- 7.55am Farewell ceremony at Tbilisi International Airport.

- 8.10am Departure by plane for Baku, Azerbaijan.

- 9.30am Arrival at Heydar Aliyev International Airport, Baku.

- 10.30am Mass at the Salesian-run Church of the Immaculate Conception in Baku. Homily and Angelus address by pope.

- 12.45pm Lunch with the Salesian community and the papal entourage.

- 3.30pm Official welcoming ceremony in the square of the presidential palace and courtesy visit with the president of the republic.

- 4.30pm Visit to the monument to those who died in the struggle for independence.

- 5pm Meeting with government leaders at the Heydar Aliyev Center. Speech by pope.

- 5.45pm Private meeting with the sheik of Muslims in the Caucasus at the Heydar Aliyev mosque.

- 6pm Interreligious meeting with the sheik and representatives of other religious communities. Speech by pope.

- 7pm Farewell ceremony at Baku airport.

- 7.15pm Departure from Baku airport.

- 10pm Arrival at Rome's Ciampino Airport.

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