“The satellite is equipped with a radio transmitter as well as onboard instruments to be maneuvered from the ground,” a press release stated.
While in orbit, the satellite will broadcast decipherable statements from Pope Francis in English, Italian, and Spanish on the theme of hope and peace.
The president of the Italian Space Agency, Giorgio Saccoccia, said the Holy See asked the agency to identify a way for Pope Francis’ words of hope “to cross the earth’s borders and reach from space the greatest possible number of women and men on our troubled planet.”
“For those of us who are used to seeing space as the privileged place from which to observe the world and communicate with it without borders, it was easy to imagine a quick, humble, and effective solution to offer wings to the Holy Father’s message,” he added.
The secretary of the Dicastery for Communication, Father Lucio Adrian Ruiz, said “space has a fascination for everyone, especially for young people. Space has that mystery of the universal, the deep, the magnificent, and it makes us all dream.”
By launching Pope Francis’ words of the March 27, 2020, blessing into space, the Vatican hopes to signify that the pope’s prayer, blessing, and universal call to hope continue to be relevant for men and women of goodwill today, he said.
This story was originally published on March 27, 2023, and was updated June 13, 2023.