Apostolic Journey of His Holiness Pope Francis to the Kingdom of Bahrain on the occasion of the “Bahrain Forum for Dialogue: East and West for Human Coexistence” (3-6 November 2022) – Departure from Rome, Telegram to the President of the Italian Republic and Telegrams to Heads of State.
Departure from Rome
The 39th International Apostolic Journey of the Holy Father Francis, who is travelling to the Kingdom of Bahrain for the “Bahrain Forum for Dialogue: East and West for Human Coexistence”, began this morning.
Before leaving Casa Santa Marta, the Holy Father met three families of refugees from Ukraine, hosted by Italian families, accompanied by His Eminence Card. Konrad Krajewski, Prefect of the Dicastery for Charity. They were the wife of an Orthodox priest, with two children with him, one 18 years old and one 14 years old, from the Kropyvnytskyi region, 150 km from Mykolaiv, while her husband and their adult son remained in Ukraine; a 30-year-old mother with two daughters aged 4 and 7 years old who had fled from the partially occupied Zaporizhzhia region; and a 53-year-old woman with a 13-year-old son with a severe disability and her 73-year-old mother from Kyiv.
He then drove to Rome-Fiumicino International Airport from where, at 9.45am – on board an A330/ITA Airways – he left for Awali.
The plane landed at Sakhir Air Base in Awali at 4.36 p.m. (2.36 p.m. Rome time).
Telegram to the President of the Italian Republic
On leaving Italian territory, the Holy Father Francis sent the following telegram to the President of the Italian Republic, the Honourable Sergio Mattarella:
TO HIS EXCELLENCY
ON. SERGIO MATTARELLA
PRESIDENT OF THE ITALIAN REPUBLIC
PALACE OF THE QUIRINAL
AS I LEAVE ROME TO TRAVEL TO THE KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN, A PILGRIM OF PEACE AND FRATERNITY, TO BEAR WITNESS TO THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ENCOUNTER BETWEEN CIVILISATIONS, RELIGIONS AND CULTURES, IT IS MY PLEASURE TO ADDRESS TO YOU, MR PRESIDENT, MY RESPECTFUL GREETING, WHICH I ACCOMPANY BY FERVENT WISHES FOR THE SPIRITUAL, CIVIL AND SOCIAL WELL-BEING OF THE DEAR ITALIAN PEOPLE, TO WHOM I WILLINGLY SEND MY BLESSING.
Telegrams to Heads of State on the flight from Rome to Awali
During the flight to Awali, while flying over Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, the Holy Father Francis sent the following telegrams to the respective Heads of State:
HER EXCELLENCY KATERINA SAKELLAROPOULOU
PRESIDENT OF THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC
PASSING THROUGH GREEK AIRSPACE ON MY WAY TO BAHRAIN, I SEND GREETINGS AND PRAYERFUL GOOD WISHES TO YOUR EXCELLENCY AND YOUR FELLOW CITIZENS. UPON ALL IN THE NATION I INVOKE ALMIGHTY GOD’S BLESSINGS OF UNITY, PROSPERITY AND PEACE.
HIS EXCELLENCY NICOS ANASTASIADES
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS
FLYING OVER CYPRUS EN ROUTE TO BAHRAIN, I EXTEND PRAYERFUL GOOD WISHES TO YOUR EXCELLENCY AND YOUR FELLOW CITIZENS, AND I WILLINGLY INVOKE UPON THE NATION ALMIGHTY GOD’S BLESSINGS OF FRATERNITY AND CONCORD.
HIS EXCELLENCY ABDEL FATTAH EL-SISI
PRESIDENT OF THE ARAB REPUBLIC OF EGYPT
AS I FLY OVER EGYPT ON MY APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO BAHRAIN, I SEND GREETINGS AND GOOD WISHES TO YOUR EXCELLENCY AND YOUR FELLOW CITIZENS, TOGETHER WITH MY PRAYERS THAT THE ALMIGHTY WILL BLESS ALL IN THE NATION WITH HIS GIFTS OF JOY AND PEACE
HIS MAJESTY ABDULLAH II
KING OF THE HASHEMITE KINGDOM OF JORDAN
AS I FLY OVER YOUR REALM ON MY WAY TO BAHRAIN, I SEND GREETINGS AND GOOD WISHES TO YOUR MAJESTY, THE MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL FAMILY AND ALL JORDANIANS, TOGETHER WITH MY PRAYERS THAT THE ALMIGHTY WILL BESTOW UPON THE NATION HIS ABUNDANT BLESSINGS.
Overflying Saudi Arabia
HIS MAJESTY SALMAN BIN ABDULAZIZ AL SAUD
KING OF SAUDI ARABIA
AS MY JOURNEY TO BAHRAIN TAKES ME THROUGH YOUR COUNTRY’S AIRSPACE, I EXTEND GOOD WISHES TO YOUR MAJESTY, THE MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL FAMILY AND ALL SAUDIS, TOGETHER WITH MY PRAYERS FOR THE PEACE AND WELLBEING OF THE NATION