Photos: Cardinal-elect Mario Grech greeted at airport

He was greeted by Bishops, the PM , Minister for Foreign Affairs and Malta's Ambassador for the Santa Sede.


Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna, Gozo Bishop Anton Teuma, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi and the Apostolic Nuncio to Malta, Mgr. Alessandro d’Errico, were present at the Malta International Airport this morning to greet Bishop Mario Grech, Cardinal-elect.

Prime Minister Robert Abela, Minister for Foreign Affairs Evarist Bartolo and Malta’s Ambassador for the Santa Sede Frank Zammit were also present.


Mgr Grech, who presently serves as the Secretary-General of the Synod of Bishops, is set to become Gozo’s first Cardinal on 28 November. There have only been two Maltese Cardinals to date: Fabrizio Sciberras Testaferrata, a Bishop of Senigallia who was made Cardinal in 1816, and Prospero Grech, who was made cardinal on 2012 and who passed away last year.

Pope announces that Mgr. Grech is to become Cardinal
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Mgr Grech stated that this role shows not only the Pope’s faith in him, but also his faith in the Maltese and Gozitan Church. He said that despite his role in Rome, the local Church will always remain close to his heart.

What’s to happen on the 28th, 29th and 30th of November

Mgr. Grech will become Cardinal at St. Peter’s Basilica on the 28th of November at 4pm.

On the day, the Cardinal will be expected to deliver a speech in the name of all the Cardinals that will be appointed on the day. This is because Pope Francis named him first in a list of 13 Cardinals, giving him right of precedence. Following the appointment, Pope Francis along with the 13 new Cardinals will visit Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

On Sunday 29th November, the Pope will celebrated mass at the Major Altar in St. Peter’s Basilica along with the new Cardinals. On Monday 30th November, Cardinal Grech will be celebrating a mass to give thanks in one of the lateral altars in St. Peter’s Basilica, at 8am.

This was announced during a press conference given by Mgr Grech following his arrival from Rome.

Mgr Grech’s Cardinal emblem

Mgr Grech’s emblem will remain the same one he had when he was Bishop of Gozo, but with the addition of the Maltese cross in the lower lefthand corner. Furthermore, it will include a red galero (wide-brimmed hat) with 15 tassels on each side, a symbol of being a Cardinal.