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Rome Reports

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Pope's schedule shows no sign of slowing down even after surgery

Pope Francis is eyeing a busy schedule after recovering from colon surgery.  

At the end of July, he will celebrate the first World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, which he established to take place near the feasts of Saints Joachim and Anne, the grandparents of Jesus. 

Shortly after, Pope Francis will resume his weekly audiences with the public on August 4, in addition to publicly praying the Angelus each Sunday.

The Pope then will begin preparations for his second overseas trip since the start of the pandemic. He will close the International Eucharistic Conference in Budapest, Hungary, and then spend three days in Slovakia on a pastoral visit. He announced the visit after praying the Sunday Angelus at the Vatican on July 4.

“I am happy to announce that from the 12th to 15th of September, God willing, I will travel to Slovakia to make a pastoral visit. The Slovaks here are happy!”

While meeting with the United States’ Special Climate Envoy, John Kerry, Pope Francis also expressed his desire to travel to Glasgow to participate in the Cop26 climate meeting in November. Scotland’s Catholic bishops have formally invited the Pope to make his first visit to Scotland. 

Other papal trips are also on the table. After meeting with the Pope, the Prime Minister-designate of Lebanon, Saad Hariri, assured that Pope Francis would visit Lebanon after a new government is formed in the country. 

At a General Audience, the Pope told Malta’s ambassador to the Holy See and its Tourism Minister was on his list of places to visit next. 

-“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.”

Pope Francis has made 33 foreign trips and visited 52 countries since becoming Pope in 2013. Even after surgery, the 84-year-old Pope seems eager to fit even more trips into his pontificate.