The Church in Japan prepares to welcome Pope Francis

Pope Francis waves at pilgrims on his arrival for his weekly general audience at St. Peter's Square in the Vatican on Sept. 11. The pope will be visiting Japan from Nov. 23-26. (Photo by Vincenzo Pinto/AFP)
Wednesday, September 18, 2019

(UCAN) Pope Francis will be in Japan from Nov. 23-26 for the second-ever visit by a pontiff to the country. The first was that of John Paul II in 1981.

The theme of the pope’s visit, Protect All Life, is quoted from a phase in “A Christian prayer in union with creation” at the end of his 2015 encyclical Laudato Sí.

Francis will go to Nagasaki on Nov. 24 to visit the shrine of the Japanese martyrs and the atomic Peace Park before celebrating a Mass.

Then he will go to Hiroshima and onto Tokyo, where he will celebrate Mass on Nov. 25 in the Tokyo Dome stadium that seats 42,000. He will also meet atomic bombing victims, survivors of the earthquake-tsunami-nuclear power plant disaster in northern Japan, young people and students as well as Japan’s new Emperor Naruhito and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before returning to Rome.

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