Tista' taqra bil- Malti.
The Archbishop’s curia has formally announced the impending visit by His Holiness Pope Francis to the Maltese Islands. A few minutes after the statement was issued, the President of Malta Dr George Vella was invited by the Archbishop Charles Scicluna who was officiating the pontifical mass on the occasion of the feast of the Shipwreck of St Paul, to make public the message. The Archbishop also presented to the President the Logo of the visit. Both the formal announcement and the presentation of the logo were greeted by tumultuous applause.
A statement issued by the Archbishop’s Curia read:
“Welcoming the invitation of the President of the Republic of Malta, the Authorities and the Catholic Church of the Country, His Holiness Pope Francis will make an Apostolic Journey to Malta and Gozo on 31st May 2020. The programme of the journey will be published at a later stage.”
A warm welcome extended
Archbishop Scicluna extended not only a warm welcome to Pope Francis but also expressed his wish that the visit will be a healing time for the wounds which have afflicted the country. This is the text of the message.
“’They showed us unusual kindness’ These are the words from Chapter 28 of the Acts of the Apostles, verse 2, that have been chosen as the motto for the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis to the islands of Malta and Gozo on the Day of Pentecost, 31st May 2020. In this hallowed place, the cave where tradition tells us Paul stayed on the island of Malta for three months in AD 60, I would like to welcome His Holiness to the Islands of St Paul and also thank him for the beautiful meditations he gave us in January of 2020 on this important passage from Scripture. He reminded us of our heritage of a welcoming people who welcomed the Apostle Paul and 275 people to gather with him, who were shipwrecked on the shores of these islands.
“But this is also a reminder that we need to welcome each other, to forgive each other and to welcome migrants who knock on the shores of our islands seeking a safe haven and human dignity. This is a tall order for a small nation but we will also take the opportunity of the visit of Pope Francis to heal wounds that have wounded our social fabric, but also commit ourselves to be that safe haven in the Mediterranean that gave the name to our islands. ‘Malat’ in the Phoenician heritage meant safe haven. That is what we need to be in the name of Jesus Christ.”
English Version of Message By Archbishop Scicluna
Italian version of message by Archbishop Scicluna