At the conclusion of Wednesday’s General Audience (30 March), Pope Francis asked for prayers for his upcoming visit to Malta from 2-3 April, while thanking all those involved in the preparations. The following is a translation of the Holy Father’s words.
Dear brothers and sisters, next Saturday and Sunday I will go to Malta. In that luminous land I shall be a pilgrim in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul, who was welcomed there with great humanity after being shipwrecked at sea on his way to Rome. This Apostolic Journey will therefore be an opportunity to go to the wellsprings of the proclamation of the Gospel, to know at first hand a Christian community with a lively history stretching back thousands of years, and to meet the inhabitants of a country that lies at the center of the Mediterranean and in the south of the European continent, which today is increasingly engaged in welcoming so many brothers and sisters seeking refuge. I greet all of you Maltese from the bottom of my heart, as of now: have a nice day. I thank all those who have worked to prepare this visit and I ask every one of you to accompany me in prayer. Thank you!