Pope Francis arrives in Romania to begin historical visit

Sorin Melenciuc 31/05/2019 | 12:00

Pope Francis has arrived tin Romania to begin a visit considered a once in a lifetime opportunity. The Pope was awaited at the Otopeni Airport by the Romanian president Klaus Iohannis and his wife, Carmen, as well as by high ranking Catholic and Orthodox hierarchs and by a crowd of young Catholics.

“Vivat Papam!” the crowd yelled at Pope’s descent from the plane.

During his visit in Romania, Pope Francis will stop at six destinations. The trip will include visits to the Romanian Orthodox and Roman Catholic cathedrals, celebration of a Latin-rite Mass and an Eastern-rite Divine Liturgy, as well as separate meetings with political leaders, young people and families as well as members of the Roma community.

Pope Francis will visit capital city Bucharest as well as the cities of Bacau, Iasi, Sibiu, Blaj and the Marian shrine in Sumuleu Ciuc, an important place of pilgrimage for Hungarian Catholics.

He will also beatify seven bishop-martyrs of the Eastern-rite Romanian Catholic Church, who died during a fierce anti-religious campaign waged under the communist regime.

The story behind the visit of Pope Francis in Romania

Romanian president Klaus Iohannis first invited the Pontiff to Romania in 2015, on the 25th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic ties between Romania and the Vatican, and reconfirmed the invitation in a letter in 2017, according to Transylvania Now.

Pope Francis will arrive in Bucharest shortly before noon on May 31, and have a meeting with state and church officials to celebrate a Mass at the St Joseph Roman Catholic church in the Romanian capital.

On June 1, he will celebrate another mass at the Catholic pilgrimage site of Csíksomlyó/Sumuleu Ciuc after which he will visit the Queen Mary cathedral in Iasi, followed by a meeting with youth and families at the local Palace of Culture.

On June 2, he will take part in the official beatification of seven Greek-Catholic martyred bishops in Balázsfalva/Blaj, followed by a meeting with members of the local Roma community. He will leave Romania from the Szeben/Sibiu airport.

Pope Francis in Romania: full schedule for the visit

Friday, May 31 (Rome, Bucharest)

  • 8:10 a.m. (2:10 a.m.) Departure from Rome’s Fiumicino airport for Bucharest.
  • 11:30 a.m. (4:30 a.m.) Arrival at Henri Coanda International Airport in Otopeni, near Bucharest.
  • 12:05 p.m. (5:05 a.m.) Welcoming ceremony at the entrance of the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.
  • 12:20 p.m. (5:20 a.m.) Courtesy visit with President Klaus Iohannis in the Cotroceni Palace.
  • 12:50 p.m. (5:50 a.m.) Meeting with Prime Minister Viorica Dancila in the Cotroceni Palace.
  • 1 p.m. (6 a.m.) Meeting with civil and political leaders and members of the diplomatic corps at the Cotroceni Palace. Speech by pope.
  • 3:45 p.m. (8:45 a.m.) Private meeting with Romanian Orthodox Patriarch Daniel at the patriarchal palace.
  • 4:15 p.m. (9:15 a.m.) Meeting with members of the Orthodox synod at the patriarchal palace. Speech by pope.
  • 5 p.m. (10 a.m.) Joint Prayer of the Our Father in the new Romanian Orthodox cathedral. Greeting by pope.
  • 6:10 p.m. (11:10 a.m.) Celebration of Mass at the Catholic Cathedral of St. Joseph. Homily by pope.

Saturday, June 1 (Bucharest, Bacau, Miercurea Ciuc, Iasi, Bucharest)

  • 9:30 a.m. (2:30 a.m.) Departure by plane for Bacau.
  • 10:10 a.m. (3:10 a.m.) Arrival at Bacau airport, transfer by helicopter to the air base in Miercurea Ciuc.
  • 11:30 a.m. (4:30 a.m.) Celebration of Mass at the Marian shrine in Sumuleu Ciuc. Homily by pope.
  • 4:10 p.m. (9:10 a.m.) Transfer by helicopter to the Iasi airport.
  • 5:25 p.m. (10:25 a.m.) Visit to the Our Lady Queen of Iasi Cathedral.
  • 5:45 p.m. (10:45 a.m.) Marian gathering with young people and families in the square outside the government Palace of Culture in Iasi. Speech by pope.
  • 7 p.m. (Noon) Departure by plane for Bucharest.
  • 8 p.m. (1 p.m.) Arrival at Bucharest’s Henri Coanda International Airport in Otopeni, near Bucharest.

Sunday, June 2 (Bucharest, Sibiu, Blaj, Sibiu, Rome)

  • 9 a.m. (2 a.m.) Departure by plane for Sibiu.
  • 9:40 a.m. (2:40 a.m.) Arrival at the Sibiu airport and transfer by helicopter to Blaj.
  • 11 a.m. (4 a.m.) Celebration of the Divine Liturgy and the beatification of seven martyred bishops of the Eastern-rite Romanian Catholic Church at Blaj’s Liberty Field. Homily by pope. Recitation of the “Regina Coeli” prayer.
  • 1:25 p.m. (6:25 a.m.) Lunch with the papal entourage.
  • 3:45 p.m. (8:45 a.m.) Meeting with members of the Roma community. Greeting by pope.
  • 4:35 p.m. (9:35 a.m.) Transfer by helicopter to the Sibiu airport.
  • 5:20 p.m. (10:20 a.m.) Farewell ceremony at the airport.
  • 5:30 p.m. (10:30 a.m.) Departure by plane for Rome’s Ciampino airport.
  • 6:45 p.m. (12:45 p.m.) Arrival at Rome’s Ciampino airport.

All the prayers that Pope Francis will say in Romania (photo gallery)

Pope Francis greets the people of Romania

Romania in full preparations for the visit of Pope Francis in Romania

The authorities have conducted careful preparations for the arrival of Pope Francis in Romania on Friday. They arranged 23 mobile hospitals and a first aid center in Bucharest, Miercurea Ciuc, Iasi and Blaj.

The Inter-Ministerial Security Committee “Pope Francis 2019 Visits” announces three mobile hospitals will be installed in Bucharest:

  • at the Cathedral of Salvation Nation (two hospitals)
  • at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Cathedral;

Nine mobile hospitals and first aid centers will be installed in Miercurea Ciuc:

  • in the courtyard of Miercurea-Ciuc Emergency County Hospital,
  • in Saua Sumuleului, at the intersection of the roads to Leliceni village,
  • Saua Sumuleului, at the intersection of the roads to Păuleni-Ciuc;
  • on Deaulul Sumuleului, at the forest edge (4 hospitals)
  • in the parking lot next to the Franciscan Cathedral in Sumuleu-Ciuc (two hospitals).

Four mobile hospitals and first-aid points will be located in Iasi in the following locations:

  • The Catholic Cathedral, in the parking lot next to the Prefecture;
  • on Palatului Street (on the left side of the Palace of Culture);
  • on Anastasie Panu street (on the right side of the Culture Palace),
  • and seven points of first aid at CFR railway station,

In Blaj:

  • in the courtyard of Blaj Municipal Hospital,
  • in the courtyard of the Agricultural High School in 1848 Square,
  • at “Barbu Lautaru” Chapel,
  • at The Agro-Food Market in the Campia Libertatii
  • near the Campia Libertatii scene.

In the four cities in the country where His Holiness will hold religious services and meet pilgrims, there will be SMURD firemen and paramedic crews who can provide support and first aid to the people. Both believers and locals can request and receive emergency medical assistance at first aid points and SMURD mobile hospitals located in these areas.

Participants in these public activities are asked, for their own safety, to follow the recommendations of the local authorities. Also, if people are in difficulty or in emergencies, immediately notify the IGSU staff present in nearby devices or report the case to 112.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee advises the population to follow the weather forecasts for the areas where the Pontiff’s visit will take place and to have appropriate clothing, and in the event of extreme weather events, it is advisable for those present to move away from trees, electricity poles, or billboards and shelter inside buildings or other public spaces.

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