Vatican City, Feb 10, 2020 / 03:30 am America/Denver (CNA).
The Vatican announced Monday that Pope Francis will visit the islands of Malta and Gozo on May 31.
The one-day trip is the first and only international journey officially on the pope’s schedule for 2020.
Malta is named in the Acts of the Apostles as the site where St. Paul was shipwrecked on route to Rome in 60 A.D. The theme of the papal trip is taken from chapter 28 of the book of Acts: “They showed us unusual kindness.”
Pope Francis praised the Biblical account of the hospitality of the people of Malta during one of his general audience reflections on the Acts of the Apostles last month.
“Spontaneous hospitality and thoughtful gestures communicate something of God’s love. And the hospitality of the Maltese islanders is repaid by the miracles of healing that God works through St. Paul on the island. So if the people of Malta were a sign of God's Providence for the Apostle, he too bore witness to God’s merciful love for them,” Francis said Jan. 23.