Programme of the Holy Father's visit to Lesbos, 14.04.2016
Vatican City, 14 April 2016 – The programme of the Holy Father's trip to Lesbos, Greece, to take place on 16 April, was published today.
The Holy Father will depart from Rome's Fiumicino International airport at 7.00 a.m. (Rome time), and is scheduled to arrive at the airport of Mytilene at 10.20 a.m. local time (9.20 a.m. in Rome), where the welcome ceremony will take place. The Pope will be received by the prime minister Alexis Tsipras and greeted first by His Holiness Bartholomew, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, His Beatitude Jerome, archbishop of Athens and All Greece, and subsequently by Bishop Fragkiskos Papmanolis, O.F.M. Cap., president of the Holy Synod of Catholic Bishops of Greece.
Following a private meeting with the prime minister, the Pope will transfer by minibus to the Mòria refugee camp, accompanied by the Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Jerome. The camp, located 16 kilometres from the airport, accommodates around 2,500 refugees seeking asylum. Upon arrival, the three religious leaders will be greeted by 150 minors currently residing in Mòria, and will cross the courtyard where refugees are registered to reach the main tent where he will individually greet 250 asylum seekers. At 12.25 p.m. (local time) Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop Jerome and Pope Francis will address those present from the podium installed in the courtyard and will sign a joint declaration. The three will lunch together in one of the prefabricated structures located behind the podium, with a group of refugees.
They will then transfer to the headquarters of the Hellenic Coast Guard at the port of Mytilene, where they will meet with the local population and the Catholic community, and the Pope will pronounce a discourse followed by brief individual prayers for the victims of migration from each of the three religious leaders. After a minute's silence, children will present three laurel wreaths, which will then be cast into the sea.
At 2.15 p.m., the Pope will transfer by minibus to the island's airport, where he will meet privately with Archbishop Jerome, the Ecumenical Patriarch and the prime minister. Following the farewell ceremony he will leave for Rome, where he is expected to arrive at 4.30 p.m.