On Wednesday morning, 27 July, the Pope arrived by plane in Québec, the capital of the eastern French-speaking province of the same name. It lies on the banks of Saint Lawrence River, which stretches over 1,200 kilometres of the province, the largest in Canada.
The city of Québec was founded in 1608 by French explorer Samuel de Champlain. Its name comes from the Algonquin word meaning “narrow passage” or “strait”.
The Pope then went to the Citadelle de Québec, where he met privately with the Governor General, Mary May Simon, and the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.
Immediately afterward, he addressed the Civil Authorities, the Diplomatic Corps, and a Delegation of Indigenous Peoples, to whom he reiterated his request for forgiveness for the abuses in residential schools, which were also perpetrated by members of the Catholic Church.
The Citadelle de Québec is the official residence of the Governor General of Canada, and the largest British fortress in North America. It is located atop Cap Diamant, in the Historic District of Old Québec.
The large, star-shaped fortress was built by British engineers between 1820 and 1850 and inspired by French engineer Sébastien Le Prestre Vauban’s defence systems. The building is used for official ceremonies as well as permanent and temporary exhibitions. In 1980, the Citadelle was declared a National Historic Site of Canada and in 1985 a UNESCO- World Heritage Site.