Visiting Romania from 31st May until 2nd June, Pope Francis will stop at six destinations, including a popular Marian shrine in Transylvania.
He also will beatify seven bishop-martyrs of the Eastern-rite Romanian Catholic Church, who died during a fierce anti-religious campaign waged under the communist regime.
His visit to the predominately Orthodox country will be his 30th foreign trip after visiting Bulgaria and North Macedonia in early May.
The trip will include visits to the Romanian Orthodox and Roman Catholic cathedrals, celebration of a Latin-rite Mass and an Eastern-rite Divine Liturgy, as well as separate meetings with political leaders, young people and families as well as members of the Roma community.
He will visit the capital, Bucharest, the cities of Bacau, Iasi, Sibiu, Blaj and the Marian shrine in Sumuleu Ciuc, an important place of pilgrimage for Hungarian Catholics, especially on Pentecost, which is 9th June.
The overwhelming majority – almost 82 per cent – of Romania’s 20 million inhabitants say they belong to the Romanian Orthodox Church led by Patriarch Daniel. About six per cent of the population identifies itself as Protestant and over four per cent identify as Catholic.
The Vatican has released a full schedule for the trip, updating an itinerary published in late March. Times listed are local.
Friday 31st May (Rome, Bucharest)
– 8:10am: Departure from Rome’s Fiumicino airport for Bucharest.
– 11:30am: Arrival at Henri Coanda International Airport in Otopeni, near Bucharest.
– 12:05pm: Welcoming ceremony at the entrance of the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.
– 12:20pm: Courtesy visit with President Klaus Iohannis in the Cotroceni Palace.
– 12:50pm: Meeting with Prime Minister Viorica Dancila in the Cotroceni Palace.
– 1pm: Meeting with civil and political leaders and members of the diplomatic corps at the Cotroceni Palace. Speech by pope.
– 3:45pm: Private meeting with Romanian Orthodox Patriarch Daniel at the patriarchal palace.
– 4:15pm: Meeting with members of the Orthodox synod at the patriarchal palace. Speech by pope.
– 5pm: Joint Prayer of the Our Father in the new Romanian Orthodox cathedral. Greeting by pope.
– 6:10pm: Celebration of Mass at the Catholic Cathedral of St. Joseph. Homily by pope.
Saturday 1st June (Bucharest, Bacau, Miercurea Ciuc, Iasi, Bucharest)
– 9:30am: Departure by plane for Bacau.
– 10:10am: Arrival at Bacau airport, transfer by helicopter to the air base in Miercurea Ciuc.
– 11:30am: Celebration of Mass at the Marian shrine in Sumuleu Ciuc. Homily by pope.
– 4:10pm: Transfer by helicopter to the Iasi airport.
– 5:25pm: Visit to the Our Lady Queen of Iasi Cathedral.
– 5:45pm: Marian gathering with young people and families in the square outside the government Palace of Culture in Iasi. Speech by pope.
– 7pm: Departure by plane for Bucharest.
– 8pm: Arrival at Bucharest’s Henri Coanda International Airport in Otopeni, near Bucharest.
Sunday 2nd June (Bucharest, Sibiu, Blaj, Sibiu, Rome)
– 9am: Departure by plane for Sibiu.
– 9:40am: Arrival at the Sibiu airport and transfer by helicopter to Blaj.
– 11am: Celebration of the Divine Liturgy and the beatification of seven martyred bishops of the Eastern-rite Romanian Catholic Church at Blaj’s Liberty Field. Homily by pope. Recitation of the “Regina Coeli” prayer.
– 1:25pm: Lunch with the papal entourage.
– 3:45pm: Meeting with members of the Roma community. Greeting by pope.
– 4:35pm: Transfer by helicopter to the Sibiu airport.
– 5:20pm: Farewell ceremony at the airport.
– 5:30pm: Departure by plane for Rome’s Ciampino airport.
– 6:45pm: Arrival at Rome’s Ciampino airport.
Picture: This is the logo for Pope Francis’ trip to Romania in late May to call for unity and a greater focus on the common good. The theme of the visit is ‘Let’s walk together’ and shows Mary, the Mother of God, protecting the people of God in Romania, a country St John Paul II visited in 1999. It will be Pope Francis’ fifth trip in the first six months of 2019. (CNS image/courtesy Holy See Press Office).