Vatican News
Pope Francis waves from the door of the Alitalia plane that is taking him to South America. Pope Francis waves from the door of the Alitalia plane that is taking him to South America.  (AFP or licensors)

Pope departs for Apostolic Visit to Chile and Peru

The flight carrying Pope Francis to South America for an Apostolic Visit to Chile and Peru departed Rome at 8:55 Monday morning.

By Christopher Wells

Pope Francis began his 22nd papal voyage outside of Italy on Monday, when his flight departed Rome’s Fiumicino Airport for the 15 hour journey to Santiago, Chile.

The Pope’s Apostolic Visit to Chile and neighbouring Peru will take him to six different cities in the space of just under a week. His journey begins in the Chilean capital of Santiago, where, in addition to saying Mass for the faithful, the Holy Father will meet with civil and religious leaders and visit a women’s prison. On Wednesday, the Pope will go to Temuco, a city with a large indigenous population, before returning to Santiago for a meeting with young people. Pope Francis will spend his final day in Chile in the northern port city of Iqique.

Telegram for Italy

As is customary, the Holy Father will send telegrams to the various nations he will be flying over as he travels to South America. His first telegram, in Italian, to the President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, reads: 

"As I leave Rome to travel to Chile and Peru in order to support the mission of the local Church, and to bring a message of hope, it is important to me to offer my respectful greetings to you, Mr President, to which I add my fervent best wishes for the spiritual, civil, and social well-being of the Italian people, upon whom I willingly bestow my Apostolic Blessing."

Pope Francis boards plane for Chile
15 January 2018, 09:00