- Title: MALTA: POPE JOHN PAUL II ARRIVES IN MALTA ON LAST LEG OF MEDITERRANEAN TOUR.
- Date: 8th May 2001
- Summary: VALLETTA, MALTA (MAY 8, 2001) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. VARIOUS: AIRPLANE TOUCHING DOWN AT GUDJA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT/ GUARDS OF HONOUR/ POPE JOHN PAUL DESCENDING STEPS OF AIRPLANE/ PEOPLE WAITING TO GREET POPE (13 SHOTS) 1.39 2. GV/MV: POPE SITTING DOWN (2 SHOTS) 1.53 3. GV: CARDINALS AND SENIOR RELIGIOUS FIGURES WATCHING 1.58 4. GV/ZOOM/MCU: SOUNDBITE (English) POPE JOHN PAUL SAYING: "With heartfelt gratitude to God, I stand on Maltese soil for the second time... (indecipherable)... on the two thousandth anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ has brought me to Malta. After visiting some of the places especially connected with this celebration: Sinai, the holy lands, and now in Athens and Damascus. Following in the footsteps of St Paul brings me to you." 2.54 5. MV/GV/PAN: CARDINALS AND SENIOR RELIGIOUS FIGURES WATCHING/ POPE WAVING AS HE LEAVES IN POPEMOBILE 3.24 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 23rd May 2001 13:00
- Location: VALLETTA, MALTA
- Country: Malta
- Reuters ID: LVAAR1JO7XCB3OYV1L1CM7BIYUEK
- Story Text: Pope John Paul has arrived in Malta, the last leg of a
six-day journey across the Mediterranean to retrace the steps
of St Paul the apostle.
The Pontiff's plane touched down at Gudja international
airport at about 1205 GMT on Tuesday (May 8) at the start of a
two-day visit to the Roman Catholic Church's oldest bastion of
faith in Europe.
The highlight of the visit to Malta will take place on
Wednesday (May 9) with a beatification open-air ceremony for
two Maltese priests and a nun who lived in the 19th ad 20th
The Pope was expected later on Tuesday (May 8) to be
received by President Guido de Marco, who greeted him at the
airport, at the presidential palace in the scenic 16th century
fortified city of Valletta.
A predominantly Catholic country, despite 200 years of
Arab occupation, and with a geographic location at the
crossroads of the Mediterranean that explains its turbulent
history, Malta fell under Christian influence after St Paul's
ship carrying him to Rome as a prisoner was shipwrecked on its
rocky eastern coast in 60 AD.
The account of the shipwreck is given in the Acts of the
Apostles, making Malta one of the very few countries to be
mentioned specifically in the Bible.
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