By Hannah Brockhaus
The Vatican confirmed on Friday that Pope Francis will visit three cities in Canada during the last week of July.
The pope will travel to Edmonton, Quebec City, and Iqaluit on July 24-30, the Holy See press office said on May 13.
“You have brought the living sense of your communities here in Rome. I will be happy to benefit again from meeting you by visiting your native lands, where your families live,” he said during a meeting with Canadian Indigenous leaders at the Vatican on April 1.
The Canadian bishops said last year that they would welcome Pope Francis’ visit as a “pilgrimage of healing and reconciliation.”
The pope’s full schedule in Canada will be published in the coming weeks, the Vatican said.
In Canada, Francis is expected to issue an apology on behalf of the Catholic Church for the abuses committed against Indigenous students in Catholic-run residential schools.
The Canadian bishops said on May 13 that Pope Francis would leave Canada on July 29, landing in Rome on July 30.
Bishop Raymond Poisson, the bishops’ conference president, said: “We are immensely grateful that the Holy Father has accepted our invitation to continue the journey of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples of this land.”
“In late July, Pope Francis will have the opportunity to visit Indigenous Peoples here in their homeland, as he promised when he met them recently in Rome. We pray for the health of the Holy Father as we undertake the intensive planning for this historic visit.”