FRANCIS PRAYS AT ST MARY MAJOR FOR TRIP TO KAZAKHSTAN – CARDINAL PAROLIN: WAR IS NEVER INEVITABLE

FRANCIS PRAYS AT ST MARY MAJOR FOR TRIP TO KAZAKHSTAN

As is his custom both before and after making an apostolic journey, Pope Francis today prayed before the beloved Roman image of Salus populi romani in the basilica of St. Mary Major.

The Holy Father departs tomorrow for Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan, to attend and address the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions that will be held here on September 14 and 15. This is his 38th apostolic trip abroad and the 57th country he will have visited.

St. John Paul II was the first pontiff to visit this central European nation, arriving shortly after the September 11 attacks in the United States in 2001. At the time, he applauded the peaceful coexistence of religions and ethnicities, such as Kazakh, Russian, Ukrainian, and many others, within the country. (Vatican media photo)

CARDINAL PAROLIN: WAR IS NEVER INEVITABLE

On the eve of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Kazakhstan, the Vatican Secretary of State looks at the war in Ukraine with hopes that the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, which the Pope will attend, might become an opportunity for encounter and dialogue, and underscores the fruitful diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Kazakhstan.

By Massimiliano Menichetti (vaticannews)

Everything is ready on the eve of Pope Francis’ 38th Apostolic Journey outside Italy. The destination is Kazakhstan and participation in the VII Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. The international background of the event includes the ongoing, tragic war in Ukraine and many other conflicts around the world.

Once again, Pope Francis at Sunday’s Angelus in St. Peter’s Square asked for everyone to continue praying the people suffering from the war in Ukraine. He also thanked those involved in the journey’s preparations who made possible this trip to the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan, where the focus will be on the capital, Nur-Sultan.

The predominantly Muslim country is home to a small Catholic community that awaits the arrival of the Pope with hope. The busy program is condensed into three days with five addresses he will give.

Ahead of the Pope’s departure on Tuesday, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin sat down with Vatican Media to explore various themes of the Journey.

For full interview: Cardinal Parolin ahead of Pope’s Kazakhstan visit: ‘War is never inevitable’ – Vatican News