Pope Francis departs for World Youth Day in Panama

Vatican, Jan 23 : Pope Francis departed on Jan 23 for Panama where he will participate in the events of the 34th World Youth Day. This marks the Pope’s first journey in 2019.

The Pope departed on an Alitalia flight from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport at 9.51am (local) . Upon arrival at Panama’s Tocumen International Airport, the Pope will go directly to the Apostolic Nunciature, where he will stay for the duration of the visit.

His journey will get underway in earnest on Jan 24 with an official welcome at the Presidential Palace and a meeting with authorities and diplomats. Later in the day, Pope Francis will meet with Bishops from Central America. The highlight of Thursday, however, will be the opening of the World Youth Day ceremony at the Coastal Belt at 17.30 local time.

In a tweet before his departure the Pope said, “I am leaving for the World Youth Day in Panama. I ask you to pray for this very beautiful and important event on the path of the Church.”

The theme for World Youth Day 2019 is taken from the Gospel of St. Luke: “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”

source: Vatican News

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