VATICAN CITY – The Holy See Press Office released the program of the Pope’s journey to Cyprus and Greece scheduled from December 2-6. His planned schedule over the five days includes a busy schedule of meetings with local authorities, Church leaders, liturgical celebrations, and ecumenical encounters. The Pope will also return to Greece’s Lesbos island to visit with migrants.
On Thursday, December 2 he will leave Rome for Cyprus, landing at Larnaca International Airport at 3 PM where there will be the official welcome. At 4 PM he will meet with priests, consecrated persons, deacons, catechists, and members of Church associations present in Cyprus at the Maronite Cathedral of Our Lady of Grace. Later from 5:15 PM onwards the welcome ceremony will take place at the Presidential Palace of Nicosia, followed by a courtesy visit to the President of the Republic and a meeting with local authorities, civil society, and the diplomatic corps.
The following day on Friday morning, the Pope will make a courtesy visit to His Beatitude Chrysostomos II, Orthodox Archbishop of Cyprus at the Orthodox Archbishopric of Cyprus in Nicosia, followed by a meeting with the Holy Synod at the Orthodox Cathedral in Nicosia. Later in the morning he will preside over a Mass at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia. In the afternoon he will hold an Ecumenical Prayer with Migrants at the Parish Church of the Holy Cross in Nicosia.
On Saturday the Pope leaves Cyprus and heads to Athens, Greece, where he is scheduled to arrive at 11:10 AM local time. The official welcome at Athens International Airport will be followed by a welcome ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Athens. He will make a courtesy visit to the President of the Republic, meet with the Prime Minister, and then with local authorities, civil society, and the diplomatic corps. The busy afternoon meetings include a courtesy visit to His Beatitude Ieronymos II, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, at the Orthodox Archbishopric of Greece in Athens, followed by a meeting of both leaders with their respective entourages in the Throne Room of the Orthodox Archbishopric. Later that day he will meet with the local Church community’s bishops, priests, religious, consecrated persons, seminarians, and catechists at the Cathedral of Saint Dionysius in Athens. Ending the evening, he will meet privately with members of the Society of Jesus at the Apostolic Nunciature in Athens.
On Sunday morning the Pope will travel to the Greek Island of Lesbos to visit with refugees at the Reception and Identification Centre in Mytilene town. He returns to Athens in the afternoon when at 16:45 he will preside over a Mass at Megaron Concert Hall. In the evening he will welcome the courtesy visit of His Beatitude Ieronymos II at the Apostolic Nunciature in Athens.
Finally, on Monday morning, December 6, Pope Francis will welcome the President of the Parliament at the Apostolic Nunciature in Athens. He will later meet with young people at Saint Dionysius School run by the Ursuline Sisters in Maroussi, Athens. After that, he heads to Athens International Airport for the farewell ceremony and his return flight to Rome leaving at 11:30 AM.