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Vatican releases full schedule of papal trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan

Pope Francis will visit the Caucasus nations on September 30 – October 2

With a focus on relations with the Orthodox and with Muslims, Pope Francis will visit Georgia and Azerbaijan on September 30 – October 2.

The visit to the Caucasus nations will be Pope Francis’ 16th trip outside of Italy. In July, the Vatican had released a list of the Pope’s scheduled activities during the trip, but without specific times for most events.

Here is the detailed schedule released by the Vatican September 12. Times are local, with Eastern Daylight Time in brackets.

Friday, September 30 (Rome, Tbilisi)

— 9am (3am) Departure from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport.

— 3pm (7am) Arrival at Tbilisi International Airport. Welcoming ceremony.

— 3.30pm (7.30am) Courtesy visit to the president of the republic at the presidential palace.

— 4pm (8am) Meeting with government authorities and members of civil society and the diplomatic corps in the courtyard of the presidential palace. Speech by Pope.

— 4.40pm (8.40am) Meeting with Orthodox Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia at the patriarchal palace. Speech by patriarch. Speech by Pope.

— 6pm (10am) Meeting with Chaldean Catholics at the Church of St Simon the Tanner. Prayer by Pope.

Saturday, October 1 (Tbilisi, Mtskheta)

— 10am (2am) Mass at Mikheil Meskhi Stadium. Homily by Pope Francis.

— 3.45pm (7.45am) Meeting with priests, men and women religious, seminarians and pastoral workers at the Church of the Assumption. Speech by Pope.

— 5pm (9am) Meeting with volunteers and people receiving assistance from the Catholic Church near an assistance center run by the Order of St Camillus. Greeting by Pope.

— 6.15pm (10.15am) Visit to the Orthodox patriarchal Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta. Greeting by patriarch. Greeting by Pope.

Sunday, October 2 (Tbilisi, Baku)

— 7.55am (11.55pm Oct 1) Farewell ceremony at Tbilisi International Airport.

— 8.10am (12.10am) Departure by plane for Baku, Azerbaijan.

— 9.30am (1.30am) Arrival at Heydar Aliyev International Airport, Baku.

— 10.30am (2.30am) Mass at the Salesian-run Church of the Immaculate Conception in Baku. Homily and Angelus address by Pope.

— 12.45pm (4.45am) Lunch with the Salesian community and the papal entourage.

— 3.30pm (7.30am) Official welcoming ceremony in the square of the presidential palace and courtesy visit with the president of the republic.

— 4.30pm (8.30am) Visit to the monument to those who died in the struggle for independence.

— 5pm (9am) Meeting with government leaders at the Heydar Aliyev Center. Speech by Pope.

— 5.45pm (9.45am) Private meeting with the sheik of Muslims in the Caucasus at the Heydar Aliyev mosque.

— 6pm (10am) Inter-religious meeting with the sheik and representatives of other religious communities. Speech by Pope.

— 7pm (11am) Farewell ceremony at Baku airport.

— 7.15pm (11.15am) Departure from Baku airport.

— 10pm (4pm) Arrival at Rome’s Ciampino Airport.


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