Ulaanbaatar, September 1, 2023 /MONTSAME/. Head of the Holy See Pope Francis is paying a State Visit to Mongolia from August 31 to September 4, 2023, at the invitation of the President of Mongolia Khurelsukh Ukhnaa. It is the 43rd Apostolic Journey of Pope Francis.
“It is a much-desired visit, which will be an opportunity to embrace a Church that is small in number, but vibrant in faith and great in charity,” underscored Pope Francis, when he talked about his upcoming visit to Mongolia at the last Angelus on Sunday, 27 August.
In conjunction with Pope Francis’s visit to Mongolia, Matteo Bruni, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, held a press conference at the Vatican City on August 29. He introduced the program of the State Visit and answered journalists’ questions.
Matteo Bruni, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, mentioned that the heart of the entire trip will be the meeting with the small Catholic community in Mongolia, which has around 1,500 faithful. He also pointed out that relations between the two countries date back to the 13th century, expanded into diplomatic relations in 1992, and have been developing intensively for more than 30 years since the first Catholic missionaries were sent to Mongolia.
Mr. Matteo Bruni said that over a thousand faithful from various countries, including the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China, Thailand, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Azerbaijan, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, will join the faithful residing in Mongolia to attend the Holy Mass, a meeting with the Catholic community, in the Steppe Arena on September 3.
“Also on September 3, the Pope will preside over an ecumenical and interreligious event in the Hun Theatre, in which representatives of Shamanism, Shintoism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and other confessions will take part. The event offers a sign of the vocation for peaceful coexistence which has characterized the Mongolian people for decades,” stressed Mr. Bruni. Government officials and representatives of universities will be present at the meeting.
At the end of the press conference, the Director of the Holy See Press Office Matteo Bruni recalled the Pope’s words in the last Angelus, “The Pope was very clear on Sunday: he is going to Mongolia, he desires this meeting to which he looks forward with happiness and great respect. He greatly desires to meet the people. I would not add anything else. The journey is to Mongolia.”
The Program of Apostolic Journey of His Holiness Pope Francis to Mongolia:
On September 1,
10:00 – The Head of State of the Holy See Pope Francis will arrive at Chinggis Khaan International Airport,
On September 2,
09:00 – A Welcoming Ceremony of the Head of State of the Holy See Pope Francis,
09:30 – The President of Mongolia Khurelsukh Ukhnaa and the Head of State of the Holy See Pope Francis will hold an official meeting,
10:20 – The Head of State of the Holy See Pope Francis will hold a meeting with representatives of the state, government, civil society, and diplomatic missions,
11:00 – Speaker of the Parliament G. Zandanshatar will pay a courtesy call on Head of State Pope Francis,
11:10 – Prime Minister L. Oyun-Erdene to pay a courtesy call on the Head of State of the Holy See Pope Francis,
16:00 – The Head of State of the Holy See Pope Francis will meet bishops, priests, missionaries, and consecrated persons, as well as pastoral workers.
On September 3,
10:00 – The Pope will participate in an Ecumenical and Interreligious Meeting in “Hun Theatre,”
16:00 – The Head of the Holy See will celebrate Holy Mass in the “Steppe Arena.”
On September 4,
09:30 – The Pope will inaugurate a charity center – the House of Mercy – and meet staff and volunteers of the organization,
11:30 – The farewell Ceremony for the Head of State of the Holy See Pope Francis will be held at the “Chinggis Khaan” airport.
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