VALETTA, Malta, May 8, 01 (CWNews.com) - Pope John Paul II arrived on Malta on Tuesday afternoon, beginning the last stop of his latest voyage.
The Holy Father was greeted by Malta's President Guido De Marco and Archbishop Joseph Mercieca. In his own remarks at the welcoming ceremony, the Pope reminded his audience that he was continuing his pilgrimage in the footsteps of St. Paul, who was shipwrecked on the island.
Unlike the Pope's previous stops in Greece and Syria, Malta has an unbroken history of Catholic cultural dominance. The island nation boasts a population of about 380,000, of whom 98 percent are baptized Catholics. About 65 percent of the population attends Mass each Sunday. The island is linked historically to the famed Catholic equestrian order the Knights of Malta, who ruled the island in the 16th through 18th centuries but are now based in Rome.
Catholic World News Service - Vatican Update
8. mai 2001