Pope Francis says a trip to Malta is on his agenda

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Malta's Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection, Clayton Bartolo, and the Maltese Ambassador to the Holy See, Frank Zammit, greeted Pope Francis at his General Audience.

-“We ask you to kindly try to visit Malta.”
-“It's on the agenda! It's on the agenda!”
-“The people of Malta look forward to your visit.”
-“It's on the agenda.”

The Minister also gifted the Pope a book about Malta's main religious attractions. The Pope joked about the episode in which St. Paul was attacked by a snake in Malta.

-“These are 33 elements of faith tourism in Malta....”
-“Are there snakes there?”

In an interview with Rome Reports, the Minister for Tourism described Malta's rich Christian tradition, which began when St. Paul brought Christianity to the island after being shipwrecked there.

Malta's Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection
“We have over 365 churches and chapels, which are all dedicated to faith, Christianity and religion. In all, we have over 590 places of worship. So in such a small island state, there are so many opportunities for the discerning visitor who is looking at perhaps enriching his faith experience.”

As the tourism industry slowly takes off again after more than a year, the Minister intends to make faith tourism a key part of the island's future, adding the island's villages and traditional celebrations to the tourist experience.

Malta's Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection
“Malta's a beautiful country, with beautiful seas, beautiful weather. And all year round, sunshine basically. So you can visit for that. But then again, we want people to visit for our culture, for our history, for our religious artifacts, all of which can make and provide for a very unique visitor attraction

The Minister is hopeful that Pope Francis will be among the visitors to enjoy the island's cultural and historical wealth.



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