(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has departed from Rome's Fiumicino airport on an Apostolic visit to Egypt. He is due to arrive in Cairo at 2pm this afternoon. Whilst there the Pope will meet with the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II, as well as with Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Egypt’s al-Azhar university. The Holy Father will be in Egypt for just 24 hours on a visit that will include the solemn celebration of Mass on Saturday morning. Vatican Radio’s Stefano Leszczynski is in Cairo covering the Pope’s visit and spoke to us about expectations and the tight security for this trip.
(Vatican Radio) On the eve of his Apostolic Voyage to Egypt, Pope Francis on Thursday night made his way across Rome to the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major, where prayed before the icon of Mary, Salus Populi Romani – Mary, “Salvation of the Romans.” Pope Francis has made it a custom to visit the popular icon ahead of each of his Apostolic Voyages, in order to ask the intercession and protection of the Blessed Virgin.