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Pope Francis December visit confirmed
Pope Francis’ visit to the Maltese Islands will indeed take place during the first week of December, but the dates and itinerary have not yet been confirmed.
The pontiff will be visiting Malta as part of a tour, which includes Cyprus and Greece. Sources close to the discussions said that the exact dates are still being mulled over, with any date between the 4th and 7th of December being a viable option.
According to Cypriot officials, the Pope will be visiting the island of Cyprus on the 2nd and 3rd of December. It’s not clear yet whether Pope Francis will then be spending a night in Malta or whether it will just be a one-day trip.
The pontiff was scheduled to visit Malta during May last year but the trip was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The visit, at the time, also included a stopover in Gozo. He will be the third Pope to visit Malta, after St John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
The first ever papal visit occurred in 1990, when Pope St John Paul II was given a very warm welcome. He visited again in 2001, when he beatified Dun Gorg Preca, Sr Adeodata Pisani and cleric Nazju Falzon, during a ceremony on the Granaries in Floriana. Preca was made Malta’s first saint in the year 2007.
The last papal visit, on the other hand, took place in 2010 when Pope Benedict XVI visited Malta.