A few days after announcing the postponement of Pope Francis ‘trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, however, the Vatican confirmed the holding of Pope Francis’ visit to Canada from July 24 to 30.
Pope Francis will fly from Rome to Edmonton on July 24, arriving after a 10.20-hour flight, for the first part of his journey, which will be marked by Francis’ prayers for forgiveness for the abuses committed against Indigenous Canadians in boarding schools run by the Catholic Church in the country.
In April, Pope Francis apologized to representatives of native Canadians in Rome in a historic statement. He had promised to renew this request during a trip there.
In Edmonton, the first part of his journey, the pope will visit the city with the second largest number of indigenous peoples in the country. The day after his arrival, on July 25, he will meet the Aborigines in the town of Maskwacis – where one of the largest schools of Aborigines in Canada was located – then them in Edmonton.
A total of 25 residential schools were located in Alberta, most of every province and territory in Canada.
Pilgrimage to Lac Sainte-Anne
On the third day of his journey, Tuesday, July 26, François will celebrate Mass at Edmonton Stadium before heading to Lac Sainte-Anne in the afternoon to take part in a pilgrimage attended by many natives.
This first stop in Edmonton will be followed by two days in Quebec, presented by tour operators as an accessible city for people who want “to see Pope Francis”, “especially the indigenous peoples of the eastern part of the country”. After arriving in the city on Wednesday, July 27, he will meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and then speak with civilian authorities and representatives of indigenous peoples.
The following day, Thursday 28 July, François will celebrate Mass at the Sainte-Anne de Beaupré National Shrine, one of the oldest places of pilgrimage in North America, and will then in the afternoon preside over vespers with the Catholic leaders in the region, at Notre Dame- the Cathedral of Quebec.
Pope Francis will end his journey in Iqaluit, in the great north of Canada, a city of 8,000 inhabitants, including 3,900 Inuit. He will meet there privately “some students from the former boarding schools” at Iqaluit Elementary School, then youth and seniors. Before returning to Rome, directly from Nunavut. The papal plane will land on Rome Fiumicino asphalt on July 30 at 7:50 p.m.
According to our information, the organizers of the trip in Rome and Canada worked to facilitate the program of this trip, in order to allow the Pope to maintain his trip to the country. Also, the first day, just after the flight between Rome and Edmonton, is reserved exclusively for the pope’s rest, while Monday, July 25, and Tuesday, July 26, include only two meetings a day.
Pope Francis’ trip to Africa was postponed, his state of health at the center of attention
Pope Francis has suffered from severe knee pain for several months, which led him to postpone a trip to Africa, scheduled for July 2 or 7, to preserve the chances of improving his health, the Vatican had justified.
“Due to his advanced age and limitations, it is expected that Pope Francis’ participation in public events will be limited to approximately one hour.”explains the bishops of Canada in a press release. “The tour, with the theme ‘Walking Together’, will include several public and private events, with an emphasis on indigenous participation throughout the tour.”continues the Canadian organizers.
Since the beginning of May, the pope has appeared regularly in wheelchairs and also uses a cane to get around. So many signs fueling speculation about renunciation.