Dhaka – Pope Francis will arrive here on November 30 on a three-day visit to Bangladesh, reports UNB.
The Vatican has formally released the schedule of Pope Francis’ apostolic visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh.
A papal visit is always ‘historic’ for any nation, and this one at the invitation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Catholic Archbishop of Dhaka Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario was officially announced in Dhaka and the Vatican simultaneously with the same sense of occasion on August 28.
Two invitations, including one from the host government, are needed for the Pope to visit a country.
President Abdul Hamid will receive Pope Francis upon his arrival and Bangladesh will show the highest respect to him during the visit.
After visiting Myanmar, Pope will proceed to Bangladesh on November 30 to December 2.
He is scheduled to land in Yangon, Myanmar in the afternoon on November 27 where he will be given an official welcome.
Pope Francis will wrap up his Myanmar with a mass for young people on November 30 and fly to Bangladesh in the afternoon.
After a welcome ceremony at Dhaka airport, Pope will pay homage to Bangladesh’s martyrs and Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
He will then pay a courtesy visit to the President and address the diplomatic corps.
On December 1, the Pope will celebrate a public mass with priestly ordination, meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the country’s bishops and representatives of various religions and Christian churches.
On the last day, Pope will visit a home run by the Missionaries of Charity of Mother Teresa, address priests, religious seminarians and novices.
Before flying back to Rome in the evening, he will meet the young people on December 2.
Previously, Bangladesh hosted Pope John Paul II, probably the most popular leader of the Catholic branch of Christianity, in 1986 for a state visit, said the Foreign Ministry officials.
Prior to that though, on November 26, 1970, Pope Paul VI insisted on stopping over in what was then the capital of East Pakistan on his way to Manila, even though it was only for an hour.
It was in the aftermath of the devastating cyclone earlier that month, one of the greatest natural disasters of the 20th century which caused huge tidal surges killing thousands of people in the coastal areas.