Pope Francis will travel to Morocco from 30th to 31st March as a “servant of hope” to encourage the country’s small Catholic community, the migrants hosted there and all people of goodwill, said Archbishop Cristobal Lopez Romero of Rabat, the nation’s capital.
“He comes to fill us with hope, to give us strength, to help us get up again after being disappointed, to fill us with enthusiasm,” the archbishop told Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
The Vatican has released the full, detailed schedule for the pope’s trip, which will include a visit to a school training an international group of Muslim prayer leaders and preachers, including women.
He also will visit a Caritas centre assisting migrants and a social service centre run by the Missionaries of Charity.
The visit to Morocco, where more than 99 per cent of the population is Muslim, will give Pope Francis an opportunity to continue the reflections on Christian-Muslim relations he began in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in February. As he did in Abu Dhabi, he is expected to highlight 2019 as the 800th anniversary of the encounter of St Francis of Assisi and Sultan al-Malik al-Kamil of Egypt.
Picture: Pope Francis waves as he arrives to lead the 26th September 2018 general audience in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters).