Pope Francis Papal Itinerary For Cuba, Mexico Visit Begins February 12th, 2016


The trip was designed for the pope and his entourage to return each night to Mexico City.

For the first time since becoming leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis will visit Mexico, home to the world’s second largest population of Catholics. The pontiff’s six-day pilgrimage includes stops in states known for poverty, cartel violence and migratory routes.


1. Mexico City 

Feb. 12-13: After a stop at the National Palace to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto, the pope will deliver a homily at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a shrine to Mexico’s most revered saint.
What’s the significance? The federal district is Mexico’s economic and political hub and home to its most famous religious icon: La Virgen de Guadalupe. Catholics travel from around the world to pay respect to the image of the Virgin Mary, and the pope recently told reporters that visiting Mexico without making a stop at the shrine “would have been a slap” in the face.

Key statistic: An average of 14,000 people visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe each month, making it the most visited Marian shrine in the world.


2. Ecatepec and Mexico City

Feb. 14: Francis plans to deliver a homily at a university campus before returning to Mexico City to visit a children’s hospital.

What’s the significance? Local religious leaders say stopping in Ecatepec — one of the most crowded, most violent and impoverished parts of the country — represents the pope’s dedication to the poor and downtrodden. Ecatepec is in the state of Mexico, which has one of the nation’s highest homicide rates for women. In July, Mexico’s Secretariat of the Interior declared an alert in the state of Mexico, highlighting Ecatepec as one of the most dangerous places for women.

Key statistic: Though records indicate that 840 women were killed in the state of Mexico between 2011 and 2013 and only 145 were investigated as homicides, the local prosecutor’s office reported that more than 1,200 women in the state disappeared in 2011 and 2012 alone.


 3. Chiapas

Feb. 15: In San Cristóbal de las Casas, Francis will meet with members of Chiapas’ indigenous community before traveling to Tuxtla Gutiérrez to meet with local families.

What’s the significance? During the 1990s, the Zapatista rebellion in the southernmost state of Chiapas jolted Mexico’s political establishment and introduced much of the world to the plight of the country’s native people. During the deadly uprising, leftist Zapatistas seized many of the state’s big cities and battled the Mexican army. Before the Vatican announced which states the pope would visit, bishops from Chiapas — where more than 60% of worshipers are indigenous — sent a pitch asking him to visit them and describing the diocese’s population as very poor and still marginalized. Because of its long border with Guatemala, Chiapas is also a major migratory route for Central Americans headed to the U.S.

Key statistic: More than 36% of Chiapas’ population identifies as indigenous — nearly double the national average. It’s also the Mexican state with the highest percentage — 29% — of people who speak an indigenous language but no Spanish.


4. Morelia

Feb. 16: The pope will celebrate a Mass for seminarians, visit the local cathedral and meet with a group of young people at a soccer stadium.

What’s the significance? Drug cartel violence has long plagued Michoacán, a plentiful agricultural state not far from Mexico City. The carnage escalated in 2013 as vigilante “self-defense” groups began to fight back against members of the Knights Templar cartel and local authorities, who themselves often had links to organized crime. The violence ballooned again last year in the months leading up to the country’s midterm elections — more than 40 people died in a May gun battle between police and suspects. The state is also the birthplace of the Rev. Marcial Maciel, who founded the ultraconservative Catholic order Legion of Christ and became one of the highest-ranking Catholic priests ever disciplined for sex abuse.

Key statistic: Of the 904 intentional homicides in Michoacán in 2014, 594 of them were organized-crime-style killings.


 5. Juárez

Feb. 17: After meeting with convicts at the city’s infamous Cereso prison, the pontiff will celebrate Mass at the fairground.

What’s the significance? Ciudad Juárez, a factory town just across the border from El Paso, has a reputation for brutal violence fueled by turf battles among drug cartels and a federal crackdown on organized crime. As the bloodshed escalated in the mid-2000s, news of beheadings and daytime homicides captured international headlines. Before long, many Americans stopped making the trek to Juárez to grab food or to go shopping, further crippling the city’s fragile economy. The border town in Chihuahua also provides a stage for the pope to pontificate on immigration — one of the main topics he discussed during his trip to the U.S. last year.

Key statistic: During the last three months of 2015 and the first month of this year, U.S. Border Patrol agents in the El Paso sector apprehended more than 1,000 unaccompanied minors — more than triple the number during the same time period the year before.


Friday 12 February 2016

 07:45    Departure from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport for Mexico City

 14:00   Arrival in Havana, Cuba  at Jose Marti International Airport

 14:15     Private meeting with  Patriarch Krill of Moscow and All Russia (First such meeting in 1,000 years)


16:30    Signing of a joint declaration. Speeches by Patriarch and by Pope.

17:30      Departure from Havana airport for Mexico City

19:30     Arrival at “Benito Juárez” International Airport in Mexico City

Official Reception


Saturday 13 February 2016

09:30     Welcoming ceremony at the National Palace

Courtesy Visit to the President of the Republic

10:15     Meeting with Civil Authorities and Diplomatic Corps (Discourse by the Holy Father)

11:30     Meeting with the Bishops of Mexico in the Cathedral (Discourse by the Holy Father)

17:00     Holy Mass in the Basilica of Guadalupe (Homily by the Holy Father)


Sunday 14 February 2016

09:20     Transfer by helicopter to Ecatepec

10:30     Holy Mass in the area of the Study Centre of Ecatepec (Homily/Angelus by the Holy Father)

12:50     Transfer by helicopter to Mexico City

13:10     Arrival in Mexico City

16:30     Visit to the Pediatric Hospital “Federico Gómez”  (Greetings by the Holy Father)

18:00     Meeting with the World of Culture in the National Auditorium (Discourse by the Holy Father)


Monday 15 February 2016

07:30     Departure by plane for Tuxtla Gutiérrez

09:15     Transfer by helicopter to San Cristóbal de Las Casas

10:15     Holy Mass with the indigenous community of Chiapas at the Municipal Sports (Homily by the Holy Father)

13:00     Lunch with indigenous representatives and the Papal entourage

15:00     Visit to the Cathedral of San Cristòbal de las Casas

15:35     Transfer by helicopter to Tuxtla Gutiérrez

16:15     Meeting with Families in “Víctor Manuel Reyna” Stadium at Tuxtla Gutiérrez (Discourse by the Holy Father)

18:10     Departure by plane for Mexico City

20:00     Arrival at the airport in Mexico City


Tuesday 16 February 2016

07:50     Departure by airplane for Morelia

10:00     Holy Mass with priests, religious, consecrated persons, and seminarians (Homily by the Holy Father)

15:15     Visit to the Cathedral

16:30     Meeting with Young People at “José María Morelos y Pavón” Stadium (Discourse by the Holy Father)

18:55     Departure by plane for Mexico City

20:00     Arrival in Mexico City


Wednesday 17 February 2016

08:35     Departure by plane for Ciudad Juárez

10:00     Arrival at “Abraham González” International Airport in Ciudad Juárez

10:30     Visit to a prison (CeReSo n.3) (Discourse by the Holy Father)

12:00     Meeting with the World of Work at the Colegio de Bachilleres dello Stato of Chihuahua (Discourse by the Holy Father)

16:00     Holy Mass at the fairgrounds of Ciudad Juárez  (Homily + greeting by the Holy Father)

19:00     Departure Ceremony at Ciudad Juárez International Airport

19:15     Departure by plane for Rome (Ciampino Airport)


Thursday 18 February 2016

14:45     Arrival at Rome’s Ciampino Airport


 Five popemobiles will be on hand because papal flights to San Cristobal de Las Casas, Morelia and Ciudad Juarez would make it difficult to move the vehicles efficiently each day. Two of the popemobiles are being shipped down from the United States where they were used in September.

If you want to watch a great pope film then this film is one to watch.

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Pope Francis and Leonardo DiCaprio meet at The Vatican and talk about the environment

I want to share this award with all the first nation’s people represented in this film and all the indigenous communities around the world. It is time that we recognize your history. – Leonardo DiCaprio

The indigenous communities of the world, respected nature their lives depended on it. The feared it, used what the earth provided as wisely as they could. The Mayan civilization of Belize where Leonardo DiCaprio has an island vanished from the face of the earth before the arrival of the Europeans and some feel it is because of climate change.  In Belize you have  the second largest coral reef in the world, and it’s one hundred percent a living reef as opposed to the Australian Great Barrier Reef .


Planet Earth is blue, and there’s nothing I can do – David Bowie / Space Oddity


David Bowie sang the words above in ‘Space Oddity’ and while he is no longer with us on earth he is probably looking down at planet earth, while floating around the moon seeing the sorry state of this planet and wondering, what can I do?   Well Bowie need not worry because of people like the Pope, and Leonardo DiCaprio who are telling companies, leaders of nations take note and change your ways. Enough is enough.  Global warming, affects us all.  If you have children you want them to have a full life so we must restore the balance.


Your Holiness, thank you for granting me this private audience with you, – Leonardo DiCaprio


The private audience was a meeting of two people who are on the same page, and both on the mission to seek solutions and help to change.  DiCaprio through his foundations investments in new studies and programs and the Pope through his ‘word’ from the seat of Saint Peter.  We must also involve the youth of this world. We can do this by creating a school of nature, for all the children of this world to come to experience the beauty of nature, forests, rain-forest, jungle, fish, coral reef, the ocean, and the animals and how there ebb and flow. They would soon learn  that without one element in this ebb and flow of nature the chain is broken and thus we could all perish.  The ideal place for such a school of nature (kinda like the school of rock) is where DiCaprio already owns an island.  If you follow the travels of some of the birds, and turtles from the mainland to the island and their feeding habits you come to see (‘the ebb and flow’).  What a wonderful gift to give any child the opportunity to find themselves among the ‘sounds and vision of nature’ empowering them with knowledge, so no one can pull wool over their eyes, especially governments, oil, gas and mining companies.  This is our future the young, your children.

The youth must be engaged, they thorough their own experience at the school of nature will impart their findings using social media and this will keep the subject front and center, while educating them on the importance of nature and our planet.  The Pope today reaches out to billions with the use of his social media, and the internet was created to be used to spread the word, break barriers, and bring about change, tweet, Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat, text, YouTube their vision of  ‘enough is enough’.  So let’s change the game and collectively with the Pope, and Leonardo DiCaprio make and everlasting positive impact for all human kind.

Many of my friends have already told me, ‘to count them in’.   The question to the readers is, are you in?


We simply cannot allow the corporate greed of the coal, oil and gas industries to determine the future of humanity – Leonardo DiCaprio / Davos Jan. 20. 2016




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