Pope Francis will visit Milan and Genoa in 2017
The Holy See Press Office confirmed that Pope Francis will visit two prominent northern Italian cities in 2017.
First, on March 25, the Pope will visit Milan. Cardinal Scola, Archbishop of Milan, announced the Pope’s visit saying: “this is a sign of the Holy Father’s affection and esteem for the Ambrosian Church, the city of Milan and the whole of Lombardy.” “We want to show our gratitude to the Pope because he will come to confirm us in the faith,” he added.
After having to postpone the trip earlier this year, because of an over-full schedule for the Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis will travel to Milan on 25 March. “This visit of the Holy Father is a sign of affection and esteem for the Ambrosian Church, the city of Milan and the whole of Lombardy,” Milan’s Archbishop, Cardinal Angelo Scola, said in a statement about the visit.
“We want to express to the Pope our gratitude because he will come to confirm us in the faith. We live from now on waiting for the Pope in prayer, in preparation for this great gift,” the Archbishop added. Cardinal Scola also said that they would formulate “the program well” and prepare themselves “in the parishes, seeking to dialogue with this great city, with this plural reality,” so that the Holy Father’s presence “is another factor of growth for Milan.”
Pope Francis will also visit the Archdiocese of Genoa on 27 May, whose Archbishop is Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, President of the Italian Episcopal Conference. Like Milan, the visit to Genoa had already been planned for an earlier date, but was postponed due to the Pope’s numerous commitments for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. The Pope’s visit will coincide with the 380th anniversary of Mary Queen of Genoa, a title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1637.
Cardinal Bagnasco made the announcement of the Pope’s visit after celebrating Mass in the city’s cathedral. He said the archdiocese would be starting a new pastoral year in which special emphasis would be placed on the liturgy and Eucharistic Adoration, prayer within the family, youth and education. In this context the Pope’s visit is “a grace which Genoa awaits with joy”, and the diocese is preparing “in a spirit of communion and collaboration, to welcome Francis on 27 May” said Bagnasco.