Saturday, March 17, 2018 Pope Francis will go on a pastoral visit to Pietrelcina, in the diocese of Benevento, on the centenary of the appearance of the stigmata of San Pio da Pietrelcina, and in San Giovanni Rotondo, in the diocese of Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo, in the 50th anniversary of the saint’s death. The director of the Vatican press office Greg Burke reports this.
THE VISIT TO PIETRELCINA
According to the program announced by the Vatican press office, on March 17, Bergoglio will leave the Vatican heliport at 7.00am to arrive at Pietrelcina at 8. Here he will be welcomed by the Archbishop of Benevento, Msgr. Felice Accrocca, and from the mayor of Pietrelcina Domenico Masone. Then the pontiff will stop in prayer at the Stimmate chapel. On the square of the Church there will be an encounter with the faithful, then the pontiff will see the Capuchin community.
STAGE IN SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO
At 9 am the helicopter take off towards San Giovanni Rotondo where the Pope will arrive at 9.30. Here the Holy Father will be welcomed by Msgr. Michele Castoro, archbishop of Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo and from Costanzo Cascavilla, mayor of San Giovanni Rotondo. So Bergoglio will see the oncology pediatric ward. The Mass will be held at 11am. Finally, after greeting the Capuchin Community, Pope Francis will leave San Giovanni Rotondo at 12.45 pm to arrive at the Vatican heliport at 13.45.