On 2 April, Pope Francis will make a scheduled visit to the northern Italian town of Carpi for a meeting with communities struck by the 2012 earthquake and a visit to the badly damaged Cathedral of Mirandola.
A communiqué released by the Vatican Press Office provides details of the Pope’s one-day journey to Carpi, a town of some 70,000 inhabitants in the Modena area of the Emilia Romagna region of Italy.
Over 20 people were killed and dozens of farms, castles, churches and other buildings were destroyed or damaged in the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the region in May 2012.
The Holy Father is scheduled to celebrate Mass, pray the Angelus, give his blessing to three new diocesan buildings, talk to priests and religious, and visit sites of the earthquake such as the Duomo di Mirandola.
Pope Francis, who will be travelling by helicopter, will depart from the Vatican at 8.15 am and arrive in Carpi at 9.45am at the “Dorando Pietri” rugby field.
The Bishop of Carpi, Francesco Cavina, will welcome the Pope who is to start his day by celebrating Mass in Carpi’s central Piazza Martiri. At the end of Mass, Pope Francis will bless the first stones of three new buildings of the diocese: Saint Agatha Parish in Carpi, Saint Antonio retreat house in Novi, and the “citadel of charity” in Carpi.
The Pope will have lunch at the Episcopal Seminary with bishops and elderly priests who reside there. Afterwards, he will meet with diocesan priests, religious men and women and seminarians in the seminary chapel. After leaving the chapel Pope Francis will stop briefly at the cathedral before going to the ‘Duomo di Mirandola’ which remains closed since the earthquake in 2012.
In front of the entrance of the ‘Duomo’, at about 4.30pm, he will meet and talk to people affected by the earthquake and visit a floral monument adjacent to the church in honor of the victims of the disaster.
At 5.30pm the Pope will leave Carpi from a sports field near the Church of San Giacomo Roncole, and he will arrive back at the Vatican at 7.00pm.