By Devin Watkins
Pope Francis’ visit to Romania is his 30th Apostolic Journey abroad, and takes place under the official motto “Let’s walk together”.
He follows in the footsteps of Pope St. John Paul II, who made the first papal visit to the Orthodox-majority nation 20 years ago in May 1999.
Friday in Bucharest
The Holy Father spends Friday in the capital, Bucharest. His first engagement is with Romania’s civil authorities at the Presidential Palace. He also encounters the permanent Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, and prays the Our Father with them at the new Orthodox Cathedral.
The Pope finishes the day by celebrating Mass for the city’s Catholics at Saint Joseph Cathedral.
Saturday in Transylvania region
On Saturday, Pope Francis flies to the northeastern city of Bacău, where he will take a helicopter to Miercurea Ciuc, in the Transylvania region, to celebrate Mass at the Marian Shrine of Şumuleu Ciuc.
He also travels to Romania’s second largest city, Iași. There he will make a private visit to Our Lady Queen of Iași Cathedral, and hold a Marian encounter with young people and families.
Sunday in Blaj
On the last day of his visit, Pope Francis visits the central city of Blaj.
In the morning he will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and beatify 7 Greek Catholic bishops who were martyred under the communist regime.
The last event on the Pope’s schedule is an encounter with the Roma community in the Barbu Lautaru neighborhood of Blaj.
Pope Francis departs Sunday afternoon from Sibiu’s airport, and returns to the Vatican in the early evening.