Pope Francis to visit Malta in April
By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis will travel to the Mediterranean island nation of Malta for an apostolic visit in April.
A Holy See Press Office communiqué on Thursday said that “Accepting the invitation of the President of the Republic of Malta, the civil authorities and the Catholic Church of the country, His Holiness Pope Francis will make an Apostolic Journey to Malta from 2 to 3 April 2022, visiting the cities of Valletta, Rabat, Floriana and the island of Gozo.”
The programme and further details of the journey will be announced in the near future.
The Pope had originally been scheduled to visit Malta on 31 May 2020, but that apostolic journey was postponed due to the situation of the coronavirus pandemic.
Announcing the postponement of that visit on 23 March 2020, Holy See Press Office Director, Matteo Bruni, noted that the visit would eventually include a stop in Gozo, one of the twenty-one Islands that make up the Maltese archipelago.
The theme of the apostolic journey is: “They showed us unusual kindness.” It is meant to highlight the plight of the migrants who traverse the Mediterranean toward Europe, and be a source of encouragement for new evangelization in the island nation.
The theme references the hospitality shown to St. Paul by the Maltese when a ship carrying him to Rome was shipwrecked there in 60 AD.
Two previous Popes have made apostolic visits to Malta: Pope St. John Paul II visited Malta in 1990 and 2001. Pope Benedict XVI also visited in 2010. Pope St. John Paul II beatified George Preca, who became Malta’s first Saint in 2007.