Francis left Rome at 8:55 am and will arrive in Santiago, Chile at 8.10 pm. The picture, taken after the atomic bombing of Nagasaki in 1945, shows a child carrying his dead brother on his shoulders.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis is on his way to Chile, the first stage of his 22nd apostolic journey, the sixth to Latin America. During this trip, he will also visit Peru. His return to Rome is set for Monday, 22 January.
The Alitalia plane carrying the Holy Father took off from Rome-Fiumicino airport this morning at 8.55 am and will land in Santiago, Chile after almost 16 hours of flight, at about 8.10 pm local time (3.10 am GMT, Tuesday).
At the airport, no speeches are scheduled during the welcome ceremony because the meeting with the authorities at La Moneda (Presidential Palace) is scheduled for tomorrow.
In the Chilean capital the pope will stay in the apostolic nunciature, which was recently occupied for several minutes by a group of anarchists, as part of a series of protests against the "wastefulness" of the papal visit.
During the flight, Francis handed out the picture of the ‘Nagasaki child’ to the journalists onboard.
The image, taken after the atomic bombing of Nagasaki in 1945, shows a child carrying his dead brother on his shoulders. The pontiff had already handed it out at the end of December: its caption reads ‘The fruit of war’.
During his pontificate, John Paul II had visited both Chile and Peru: Chile in 1987, Peru in 1985 and 1988.
Pope Francis lived in Chile for a year and a half during his novitiate with the Jesuits. He also visited Peru.