(Vatican Radio) Preparations are in full swing for Pope Francis’ upcoming apostolic visit to Egypt.
The Pope is scheduled to fly to Cairo on Friday 28th for a 2-day pastoral journey during which he will celebrate Mass, participate in a Conference for peace, meet with clergy, encourage the small Egyptian Christian community in their faith and of course promote and deepen inter-religious dialogue in the predominantly Muslim nation.
One of the highlights of the visit is his meeting with the Orthodox Coptic Patriarch, Tawadros II.
The Pope’s presence in Egypt is seen as particularly poignant in the wake of the Palm Sunday attacks on the Orthodox Coptic churches in Tanta and Alexandria.
Vatican Radio’s Stefano Leszjinsky spoke to missionary Sister Angela Colombi, Provincial of the Comboni Order in Egypt about her expectations for the Pope’s visit:
Sister Angela Colombi says all Egyptians are awaiting the Pope – not only the Christians!
“The Christians of course see in him not only a religious leader, but also a man of peace; the logo of the journey in fact says ‘The Pope of peace for Egypt – Egypt for peace’ – people see in him a person who is trying to tell the world we are children of the same God so why not live in peace?” she said.
Many of Sister Angela’s students will be present for the welcome ceremony for Pope Francis together with other school children and students from across Cairo.
She says they have been asked to wear their school uniforms and bring posters with the name of the school as well as Egyptian and Vatican flags.
“For me, she says, this will also teach the children to welcome – not only the Pope – but to have an attitude of welcome and to create an atmosphere of tolerance and welcome”.
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