The Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis will visit three cities in Canada during the last week of July.
According to the Holy See press office, the pope will travel to Edmonton, Quebec City, and Iqaluit between July 24 and July 30.
The pope announced in April that he planned to meet indigenes of Canada this summer for the feast of St. Anne on July 26.
During a meeting with Canadian Indigenous leaders at the Vatican on April 1, he said: “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.”
Last year, the Canadian Bishops said they would welcome Pope Francis’ visit as a “pilgrimage of healing and reconciliation.”
The Vatican said the Pope’s full schedule in Canada would be published in the coming weeks.
When the Pope visits Canada, he is expected to tender an apology on behalf of the Catholic Church for the abuses committed against Indigenous students in Catholic-run residential schools.
The Canadian Bishops said Pope Francis would depart Canada on July 29 and land 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.”