As he continues efforts to bolster ties between Orthodox Christians and Catholics in Eastern Europe, Pope Francis arrived in Bucharest on Friday, the 31st of May 2019. It is the start of a three-day pilgrimage to majority-Orthodox Romania — the first papal visit since John Paul II in 1999.
After having been welcomed at Otopeni Airport by the country’s president, Klaus Iohannis, the Pope was driven through the capital where crowds lined the streets to see his motorcade.
During his trip, Pope Francis will celebrate mass at country’s most famous Marian shrine, Sumuleu Ciuc, in Eastern Transylvania and is scheduled to beatify seven Greek-Catholic bishops who were martyred during communist rule, when Catholics were brutally persecuted.
He will also meet the patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church in the latest of his foreign trips to Christian countries where Catholics are a minority.
“I’m coming to you to walk together,” Francis said in a video message released on the eve of his visit.