#BreakingNews Pope Francis Arrives Safely in Marseille for 2-Day Visit

Pope Francis begins his two-day visit to the French port city of Marseille for the concluding session of the Mediterranean Meetings. The Pope, who will meet French President Emanuel Macron, is also scheduled to lead a prayer service and interfaith meeting and celebrate Holy Mass before heading back to the Vatican on Saturday evening.

Pope Francis touched down at Marseille International Airport shortly after 4 pm beginning his 44th apostolic journey abroad.
Marseille, is a port city in southern France, and  has been a crossroads of immigration and trade since its founding by the Greeks circa 600 B.C. It is the oldest city in France, and famous for its Basilique Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, a Romanesque-Byzantine church. It has a population of 861,635.
He is in Marseille to participate in the closing session of the annual “Mediterranean Meetings”, Church-led initiatives or conferences held annually in a different city or town in Mediterranean countries that aim to find share solutions to the challenges of the region, in particular migration.

In Marseilles, the 2023 Mediterranean Meetings involve about 70 Catholic Bishops and 120 young people, aged 20 to 35, including Christians of other denominations, Muslims and believers of other faiths.

Pope Francis was welcomed on the plane by the Apostolic Nuncio in France, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, and by the French ambassador to the Holy See, Mrs Florence Mangin.

French Prime Minster, Élisabeth Borne, also greeted the Pope when he landed on French territory and he was honoured with the flying of the flag and the military guard. Four children were on the tarmac to offer him a bouquet of flowers.
The Pope visited the Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica, overlooking the city. He led a prayer there, followed by an interfaith moment of remembrance at a monument for sailors and migrants lost at sea.

According to the UN’s International Organization for Migration, since 2014 over 28,000 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe have been recorded dead or missing. Some 180,000 arrivals have been registered in 2023 so far.

Then, Pope Francis gathered with representatives of associations that assist migrants and refugees upon their arrival and with leaders of other faiths present in Marseille for the Mediterranean Meetings.

That event ends the Pope’s first day in Marseille. Finally, he will travel to the Archbishop of Marseille’s residence where he stay during his visit.
Source: Vatican News and Wikipedia