Pope Francis has departed from Cyprus after a three-day official visit, and begins the third day of his 5-day Apostolic Journey heading to Greece on Saturday morning.
During the farewell ceremony, the Pope was welcomed at Larnaca International Airport by President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades, the cabinet and other officials. After a brief conversation with the President, the Pope and his entourage as well as 77 journalists, left on board an Aegean aircraft.
The Holy Father’s official welcome at the airport in Athens where he arrives around 1110, will be followed by a welcome ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Athens. He will then pay a courtesy visit to the President of Greece, Katerina, Sakellaroupoulou, meet with the Prime Minister and then with local authorities, civil society and the diplomatic corps.
Later in the day, the Pope will meet with Hieronymos II, the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece at the Orthodox Archbishopric of Greece in Athens. This will be followed by a meeting of both religious leaders with their respective entourages in the Orthodox Archbishopric.
The Pope’s afternoon schedule also includes a meeting with the country’s bishops, priests, religious, consecrated person, seminarians and catechists at the Cathedral of St. Dionysius in Athens. He will then have a private meeting with the members of the Society of Jesus at the Apostolic Nunciature of Athens.
On Sunday, one highlight of the Pope’s lineup will be his visit with migrants and refugees at the “Reception and Identification Center” in Mytilene town on the Greek island of Lesbos. For the second time in five years, the Pope will visit this island that has been dealing with migrant arrivals.