Pope Francis will Pray in The Cave Where St. Paul The Apostle Lived

According to tradition, the Apostle St. Paul lived in this cave around the year 60, after the ship carrying him to Rome, where he was to be tried, sank during a storm.

Newsroom (04/04/2022 11:50, Gaudium Press) During the apostolic trip he will make to Malta on April 2-3 this year, 2022, Pope Francis will pray at the grotto of St. Paul, located in the complex of the Basilica of St. Paul in the city of Rabat, becoming the third Pontiff to visit the site, already visited by St. John Paul II in 1990 and Benedict XVI in 2010.

According to tradition, the Apostle Saint Paul lived in this cave around the year 60, after the ship carrying him to Rome, where he was to be tried, sank during a storm. There, as St. Luke narrates in the Acts of the Apostles, the saint remained for three months evangelizing by preaching, baptizing, and healing the sick. For this reason, the inhabitants of Malta consider St. Paul to be their patron saint.

Access to St. Paul’s grotto is through the church of St. Publius, the first Bishop of Malta, next to the basilica of St. Paul and the parish museum, where many valuable works of art and history are kept. The cave remains with its rock walls preserved, as well as some Baroque architecture. Although a large amount of earth and stone has been removed, the site remains preserved.

Official Schedule for Pope Francis’ Visit to Malta

The trip will begin at 8:30 a.m. on April 2, when the Holy Father will depart from Rome/Fiumicino International Airport for Malta. He is expected to arrive at his final destination around 10:00 am, where he will be greeted with a welcoming ceremony.

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At 10:50 a.m., the Pontiff will proceed to the Grand Master’s Palace in La Valletta where he will meet with various civil authorities. The first visit will be to the President of the Republic in the ‘Ambassadors Chamber’. At 11:35, he will meet with the Prime Minister in the Pages Chamber. Then, at 11:50, he will meet with the authorities and the diplomatic corps in the Grand Council Chamber. There, Francis will give a speech.

At 3:50 pm, the Holy Father will depart from the Grand Port of Valletta for Gozo, arriving at 5 pm at the Port of Margarr. At 5:30 pm, there will be the prayer meeting at the National Shrine of ‘Ta’ Pinu’ in Gozo, where the Pope will deliver the homily. At 6:45 pm, Francis will leave by ferry from the Port of Mgarr for Malta, and at 7:30 pm, he will arrive at the Port of Cirkewwa, and then go to the Apostolic Nunciature.

On Sunday, April 3, at 7:45 a.m., Francis will meet with members of the Society of Jesus at the Apostolic Nunciature in Rabat. At 8:30, he will visit the grotto of St. Paul in the Basilica of St. Paul in Rabat, where he will say a prayer. At 10:15, the Pontiff will preside a Holy Mass in the Square of the Barn in Floriana. He will then recite the Angelus prayer.

At 4:45 pm Pope Francis will meet with migrants at the ‘John XXIII Paece Lab’ Migrant Center in Hal Far, where he will deliver a speech. The farewell ceremony at Malta International Airport is scheduled to take place at 5:50 pm. At 6:15 pm, the Pontiff will fly to Rome and is scheduled to arrive at Rome/Fiumicino International Airport at 7:40 pm. (EPC)

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Compiled by Teresa Joseph


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