In a statement released on July 1, Cardinal Keith O'Brien of Edinburgh launched Scotland's official logo for the Holy Father's upcoming visit to the U.K. and exhorted the local faithful to recognize the trip as a “rare opportunity for us to strengthen our faith and to show it to others.”
The cardinal wrote that he is “very pleased to be able to launch the logo, which the Scottish Bishops will use for the Papal Visit.” The design by Scottish designer Gregory Millar “is both striking and symbolic, it is a fitting emblem for a historic visit,” he said.
Commenting on the Holy Father's slated itinerary in the country, Cardinal O'Brien noted that the “Pope will arrive in Scotland on Thursday, September 16, the Feast of St. Ninian.”
“Ninian was the 4th century Scottish saint who was one of the first to bring the Gospel of Christ to our land,” he recalled. “Following his arrival at Edinburgh airport, that morning, the Pope will be driven to Holyrood Palace where he will be welcomed by Her Majesty the Queen.”
“On leaving the palace,” the prelate continued, “he will be driven in the Popemobile through the center of Edinburgh. Part of his route will include Princes Street, perhaps the most iconic cityscape in Scotland.”
“Here in the hour preceding his motorcade a celebratory pageant will have taken place comprising: Pipe Bands, schools with special emphasis on children attending schools named after St. Ninian and a historic pageant comprising characters dressed as historic figures in our national life.”
“I hope as many people as possible will attend and line the Pope’s route,” Cardinal O'Brien urged.
“Following lunch at my home, the Holy Father will travel to Bellahouston Park in Glasgow to celebrate a public Mass on the same site that his predecessor Pope John Paul II said Mass in 1982.”
“Finally,” the cardinal underscored in his statement, “we should remember that Apostolic visits provide a rare opportunity for us to strengthen our faith and to show it to others.”
“A generation of Scots of all faiths fondly remember and benefited from the last such visit in 1982. As we commemorate the Feast of St. Ninian who sowed the seeds of faith in our country, it is my hope that a new generation will be revitalized and strengthened in bearing witness to the message of the Gospels.”