Rome, Italy, Jul 29, 2023 / 08:55 am
Less than three weeks after he returns from Mongolia in early September, Pope Francis will travel internationally again with a day trip to Marseille, France, Sept. 22–23. It will be his third trip over a six-week period, as he will be in Lisbon, Portugal, Aug. 2–6 for World Youth Day.
The pope will make the trip to France to participate in the Mediterranean Encounter, the “Rencontres Mediterraneennes” — a gathering of some 120 young people of various creeds with bishops from 30 countries. The encounter is a “cultural festival” drawing together associations and groups committed to dialogue and ecological issues. The day after the pope’s visit — and the concluding day of the encounter — is the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.
The pope has referred to the Mediterranean as Europe’s “largest cemetery” since growing numbers of people trying to migrate from north Africa and the Middle East to Europe continue to lose their lives in the waters.
The Vatican press office announced July 29 the pope’s schedule for the France trip, with his departure from Rome on Friday, Sept. 22, at 2:35 p.m. local time. On his return from Africa in January, the pope had already said he would be visiting Marseille.