Loading
Italian president predicts success for Pope in Mexico, Cuba
Pope Benedict XVI with Italian president Giorgio Napolitano. Credit: Franco Origlia/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Pope Benedict XVI with Italian president Giorgio Napolitano. Credit: Franco Origlia/Getty Images News/Getty Images
By David Kerr
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Pope Benedict XVI set off this morning from Rome on his apostolic journey to Mexico and Cuba with predictions that his visit will provide a well-timed morale boost.

“Great is the attention with which the entire international community looks towards your new mission, … and intense are the expectations and hope of the population that is about to meet you,” Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said in his March 23 traditional farewell telegram.

“I am convinced that your pending visit will transmit deep feelings of closeness and communion with the peoples of these countries and the entire Latin American continent,” he said.

President Napolitano believes the visit will be a “high morale booster for facing, in a spirit of renewed solidarity and unity, the important civil and social challenges facing these nations.”
 
Pope Benedict departed from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport at 9:50 a.m. He was accompanied to his flight by the Italian Prime Minister, Mario Monti.

The 84-year-old Pope used a cane for the first time in public to make the 100-yard journey from his helicopter to his chartered Alitalia flight. He then climbed the stairs of the plane unaided, only stopping to wave to well-wishers.

In total, 107 people are flying on the papal plane, including five Vatican cardinals. As is traditional, the Pope will field questions from journalists during an in-flight press conference. The plane will arrive in Mexico’s Leon Airport after a 14-hour flight, arriving at the Leon airport at 4:30 p.m. local time.

This is Pope Benedict’s 23rd foreign visit since his election in 2005, although it is his first papal trip to the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America. He previously visited South America during a pilgrimage to Brazil in 2007. He also hopes to return there for World Youth Day in Rio in 2013.
 
When he announced his plans to visit Mexico and Cuba in December 2011, the Pope said that he believed now was “a precious time to evangelize” Latin America and the Caribbean.
 

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
21

Liturgical Calendar

October 21, 2014

Tuesday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:35-38

Gospel
Date
10/21/14
10/20/14
10/19/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 2: 12-22
Gospel:: Lk 12: 35-38

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/21/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:35-38

Homily
Date
10/21/14
10/20/14
10/19/14