Pope to visit United Arab Emirates Feb. 3-5
The Vatican released this press release announcing a papal trip to Abu Dhabi on February 3-5, 2019. Pope Francis plans on participating in the International Interfaith Meeting on “Human Fraternity.”
The visit is in response to an invitation by the Catholic Church and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed, the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. He visited the pope in 2016 at the Vatican.
The theme of the trip has been chosen as “Make me a Channel of your Peace,” after St. Francis of Assisi. The goal is for Pope Francis' visit to spread “the peace of God within the hearts of all people.”
He will continue inter-religious dialogue, like he did during his visit to Egypt in April 2017.
Additionally, the logo represents the colors of both the Vatican's and United Arab Emirates' flag. The white and yellow is for the Holy See and the red, green and black represents the U.A.E. The olive branch in its mouth is a symbol of the country “as a herald of peace.”
A majority Muslim population, around 10 percent of citizens of the U.A.E are Catholics. In 2007, they entered into full diplomatic relations with the Vatican. Pope Francis will be the first pope to visit this country.