Pope Francis arrived at Rome's Fiumicino Airport shortly after 10 p.m. A 10-hour flight awaited him.
As usual, once takeoff was complete, the pope briefly greeted the journalists who are joining him on this new trip to Asia. He spoke around 10:30 p.m.
“Good evening and many thanks for your company. Thank you for your work that always sows good. I wish you a good stay. They say that it is too hot, I'm sorry. Shall it at least be fruitful. Now, I will greet you all personally.”
That's just what he did. He greeted the professionals who are traveling with him on the papal plane one by one. The pope even wished a Spanish journalist a happy birthday, which coincided with the beginning of the trip.
“Cristina Cabrejas. Today is her birthday. She's a journalist at EFE.”
“Will you give me two kisses?”
After a long night flying over Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, Pope Francis landed in Yangon a little before 8 a.m. Rome time.
As the pope had already mentioned on the flight, it was hot – almost 90 degrees with 70-percent humidity.
On the ground, he was welcomed by a delegate of the president of Myanmar and bishops from the country. Cardinal Bo greeted him enthusiastically.
“Holy Father. Welcome. Welcome.”
Later, Pope Francis greeted the rest of the bishops and these little girls dressed in traditional attire who, although a bit shy at first, gave the pope the sweetest of welcomes with these hugs.