Facade of St Mark’s Basilica in Venice 

By Devin Watkins

Mar 26 2024

The Vatican releases the programme for Pope Francis’ pastoral visit to the Italian city of Venice, on Apr 28, to explore the Holy See Pavilion of the Venice Art Biennale.

Pope Francis is scheduled to make a one-day pastoral visit to the northern Italian city of Venice on Sunday, Apr 28.

The Holy See Press Office released the programme for the visit on Monday.

According to the schedule, the Pope is due to arrive in Venice by helicopter, landing inside the Giudecca Women’s Prison facility.

After receiving a welcome by Venetian Patriarch Francesco Moraglia and several Italian officials at 8.00 am, the Pope meets with around 80 female inmates in the prison’s courtyard.

He is then scheduled to meet with artists in the prison’s chapel, and view the Holy See’s Pavilion for the 60th International Art Exhibition – known as the Venice Biennale.

The Pavilion bears the title “With My Own Eyes,” and is dedicated to the theme of human rights and people living on the margins of society.

According to the Holy See, it seeks to draw the world’s attention to those people who are largely ignored while fostering a culture of encounter.

Encounter with young people and celebration of Mass

Following his meeting with artists, Pope Francis departs from Giudecca Island in a patrol boat and travels to the Basilica of St Mary of Good Health.

There, he meets with young people from the Dioceses of Venice and Veneto.

The Pope then crosses a bridge to enter St Mark’s Square, where he will be welcomed by the president of the Veneto Region, along with Venice’s Prefect and Mayor.

At 11.00 am, Pope Francis presides over Mass in St Mark’s Square and prays the Regina Coeli, the traditional noon-day Marian prayer during the Easter Season.

After Mass, the Pope will enter the Basilica of St Mark to venerate the relics of the Saint, after which he will board a patrol boat that takes him to the island of St Elena.

From there he is due to return to the Vatican by helicopter, where he is expected to land at around 2.30 pm. – Vatican News