March 16, 2012. (Romereports.com)
On Friday March 23, Benedict XVI will begin his 23rd international trip. Over the course of one week, he will visit Mexico and then Cuba. At 9:30 in the morning his plane will depart from Rome's Fiumicino Airport. During the 14 hour flight, the pope will meet with the press to discuss the trip.
At 4:30 in the afternoon, he will arrive in Leon, Mexico, located in the
central state of Guanajuato. He will be received by President Felipe
Calderón, along with a mariachi band. Thousands of people are expected
to be lining the road as the pope will then travel to the residence of
the school of Miraflores.
“I imagine, the Mexican people will be out along the streets, welcoming
the Pope. It will surely be a great part of the first day.”
On Saturday, the schedule will allow him to recover from jet lag, with
no meetings until 6 pm.At that time, he will visit with the Mexican
President and his family in the public building of Casa del Conde Rul.
There will then be a meeting with local children in the town's Plaza of Peace.
On Sunday March 25, the pope will celebrate Mass in the symbolic
Bicentennial Park, in the city of León, at the foot of the Cubilete
In the afternoon, he will meet with the bishops of Mexico and Latin America in the cathedral of León.
“All the presidents of the Episcopal conferences of Latin
America are invited as well. Mexican bishops have also invited
representatives from Canada and the United States.”
On Monday March 26, Benedict XVI say good-bye to Mexico. Departing at
9:30 am for Santiago de Cuba, where he will be welcomed by Raul Castro
and will celebrate Mass on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the
island's patron saint, Our Lady of Charity. The pope will stay at the
residence of shrine's priest, which has been preparing for his visit.
On Tuesday the 27th, the pope will then fly to Havana, where he will
meet again with President Raul Castro and other members of his family,
which will likely include his brother Fidel. He will also meet with the
bishops of Cuba, and then remain that night in the nunciature.
On Wednesday the 28th, the pope will celebrate Mass at the Revolution
Square, close to the famous image of Che Guevara. In the afternoon,
there will be a farewell ceremony at the airport, before a twelve-hour
flight back to Rome.