His Holiness, Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church, arrived for his one day visit to the Republic of North Macedonia.
The Holy Father was welcome at the Airport in Skopje by the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Gjorge Ivanov and the President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev. A traditional welcome reception was organized.
Pope Francis and the accompanying delegation consisted of the State Secretary of Vatican Pietro Parolin, the cardinals Leonardo Sandri and Kurt Koch, in charge of relations with the Oriental Churches and Christian unity, as well as a dozen of archbishops of the Catholic Church and other officials from Vatican, accompanied by numerous members of the delegation, departed from the Airport Skopje towards the residence of the President of the country where an official welcome ceremony will be organized with highest state honors.
The program of the Apostolic Visit of Pope Francis to our country foresees tȇtȇ-a-tȇtȇ meetings with President Ivanov and Prime Minister Zaev, as well as an address by His Holiness before the Macedonian public, representatives of the Assembly and the Government and the diplomatic corps in North Macedonia, including other guests who were invited to the ceremony in Villa Vodno.
According to the Program for the Apostolic Visit of Pope Francis, His Holiness from Villa Vodno will arrive in the Memorial House of Mother Theresa where he will meet a group of citizens from vulnerable categories and representatives of the religious communities of our country.
From the Memorial House of Mother Theresa His Holiness and the accompanying delegation shall depart toward the square “Makedonija” where a holy mass will be held by Pope Francis.
The holy mass on the square “Makedonija” will be attended by ten thousands of people, catholic believers and other citizens, including the highest representatives of the country and the social and political institutions.
In the afternoon Pope Francis will attend an Ecumenical and inter-religious meetings with the young citizens from the country who previously applied to be part of this meeting.
The program contents from the first historic meeting of Pope Francis to our country will finish with a meeting with the priests, their families and consecrated people in the Cathedral “Sacred Heart of Jesus”. Afterwards, the delegation will depart towards the Airport Skopje.