As is his custom, Pope Francis visited the Basilica of St Mary Major on Tuesday morning.
There, he remained in prayer before the icon of Mary, Salus Popoli Romani, entrusting his 31st Apostolic Journey, which will bring him to Mozambique, Madagascar, and Mauritius, to Mary, the Mother of God.
The Pope will leave Rome on Wednesday morning and arrive in Maputo, Mozambique, in the evening, where he will be officially welcomed. He will spend Thursday and Friday in Maputo.
On Friday afternoon, he will fly to Antananarivo, Madagascar, where he will stay until Sunday evening.
Monday morning, Pope Francis will travel to Port Louis, Mauritius, for the conclusion of his Apostolic Journey. He will return to Rome on Tuesday.
'Accompany me in prayer'
After reciting the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square on Sunday, 1 September, Pope Francis said:
“Next Wednesday, God willing, I will leave for an apostolic visit to Africa, to visit the people of Mozambique, Madagascar, and Mauritius. I ask you to accompany me in prayer, so that this pastoral visit may bring the desired fruits.”