Vatican City, 14 November 2014 (VIS) – Today the Holy See Press Office published the programme for Pope Francis' upcoming trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines, scheduled for 12 to 19 January 2015.
The Holy Father will depart from Rome's Fiumicino airport on Monday, 12 January at 7 p.m. and will arrive in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, on Tuesday 13 at 9 a.m. Following the welcome ceremony he will meet with the country's bishops at the archbishop's residence, after which he will pay a courtesy visit to the president of the Republic. The day will conclude with an interreligious meeting at the Bandaranaike Memorial.
On Wednesday, 14 January, during a Mass to be celebrated at 8.30 a.m. at the Galle Face Green, he will canonise Blessed Joseph Vaz and will then transfer by helicopter to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary at Madhu. From there he will proceed by helicopter to Colombo.
Thursday will begin with a visit to the chapel of Our Lady of Lanka in Bolawalana, after which the Pope will leave Sri Lanka and depart by air, at 9 a.m., for Manila, the capital of the Philippines, where he will be officially received at 5.45 p.m.
On Friday, 16 January, Francis will pay a courtesy visit to the president of the Philippines in the presidential palace, followed by an address to the authorities and the diplomatic corps. At 11.15 a.m. in the cathedral of the Immaculate Conception he will celebrate Mass with bishops, priests and consecrated persons. His final activity on Thursday will be an encounter with families in the Arena Mall of Asia.
On Saturday, 17 January, the Pontiff will transfer by air to Tacloban International Airport where he will celebrate Mass, followed by and lunch with survivors of Typhoon Yolanda. In the afternoon he will bless the Pope Francis Centre for the Poor and will meet priests, consecrated persons, seminarians and families of the typhoon survivors in the cathedral of Palo. He will then return to Manila.
On Sunday, 18 January, he will meet with the religious leaders of the Philippines at the St. Thomas University of Manila and later with young people at the university sports field. The day will conclude with a Mass celebrated in Rizal Park.
On Monday, 19 January, the Pope will conclude his trip, leaving from Manila at 10 a.m. The aircraft carrying the Holy Father is expected to land in Rome's Ciampino airport at 5.40 p.m.