Agenda for Pope's visit to Sri Lanka announced

Agenda for Pope's visit to Sri Lanka announced

COLOMBO, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- The program of the Pope's apostolic trip to Sri Lanka, scheduled for next January has officially been announced, a statement said on Tuesday.

The announcement has been made by the Cardinal Dr. Ranjith Malcolm, the Archbishop of Colombo.

The Pontiff will leave Vatican on Jan. 12, 2015 and will arrive at the Katunayake International Airport at Jan. 13, 2015.

Upon arrival, he will be escorted to the Bishop's House first and there he will hold a special discussion with the Bishops. A luncheon will also be held there.

Pope Francis will then meet Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Later on the same day the Pope will attend a cordial gathering with the clerics of other religions.

A divine sermon will be held at Galle Face Greens in the morning on Jan.14. On the evening Pope Francis will conduct a special sermon at the Madhu Church in Mannar.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has informed that the Pope will also bless the people from the statue of the Lady of Madhu. The shrine is over 400 years old and is considered to be one of the holiest places of worship for Catholics.

Following Sri Lanka, the Pope will visit the Philippines from Jan. 15-19, 2015.