By Linda Bordoni
A communiqué released by the Holy See Press Office on Tuesday published the programme for the papal visit which will take place in the morning of Sunday 23 February.
The meeting Pope Francis is scheduled to address is organized and promoted by the Italian Bishops’ Conference and is entitled “Mediterranean, peace frontier”.
It takes place from 19 to 23 February and is expected to bring together more than 50 bishops from 19 Mediterranean nations in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
Migration is one of the issues at the heart of the conference, and bishops said the evangelization of young people, unemployment, cultural exchanges and peacemaking are also to be discussed.
During his time in Bari, Pope Francis will address the conference and greet participants. He will visit Bari’s Basilica of St. Nicholas where he will venerate the relics of the Saint, and engage with its community of Dominican Fathers.
Before departing he will celebrate an open air Holy Mass in the city center.
He is expected to be back in the Vatican before 2pm Rome time.
Pope Francis travelled to Bari in July 2018 where he met with leaders of Catholic and Orthodox Christians with whom he reflected on the Middle Eastern origins of the Christian tradition and on the commitment undertaken by the religious leaders to walk, pray and work together “in the hope that the art of encounter will prevail over strategies of conflict.”
He also met with the people of Bari outside the Basilica of St. Nicholas and invited them to pray for peace in the Middle East.