By Benedict Mayaki, SJ
After two days in Cyprus, Pope Francis departed Cyprus’ Larnaca airport at 8:30 am on Saturday morning for the Athens International Airport where he arrived at 11:10 local time.
The Holy Father’s official welcome at the airport is followed by a welcome ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Athens. He then pays a courtesy visit to the President of Greece, Katerina, Sakellaroupoulou, meets with the Prime Minister and then with local authorities, civil society and the diplomatic corps.
Later in the day, the Pope meets with Hiernoymos II, the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece at the Orthodox Archbishopric of Greece in Athens. This is followed by a meeting of both religious leaders with their respective entourages in the Orthodox Archbishopric.
The Pope’s afternoon schedule includes a meeting with the country’s bishops, priests, religious, consecrated person, seminarians and catechists at the Cathedral of St. Dionysius in Athens. He then has a private meeting with the members of the Society of Jesus at the Apostolic Nunciature of Athens.
On Sunday, one highlight of the Pope’s lineup will be his visit with migrants and refugees at the “Reception and Identification Center” in Mytilene town on the Greek island of Lesbos. For the second time in five years, the Pope will visit this island that has been dealing with migrant arrivals.
The Pope is scheduled to return to the Vatican on Monday.
This article was last updated at 10: 40 am