An evocative exhibition featuring papal visits to Malta has been set up at the entrance to Valletta ahead of the two-day visit by Pope Francis on Saturday.
Stretching back to 1990 when Pope Saint John II Paul famously said “Europe needs Malta’s faithful witness”, the exhibition makes use of the key messages imparted by the popes during their visits to the island.
Pope Francis will be the third Pontiff to tour Malta. Pope Saint John Paul II had visited twice, in 1990 and again in 2001 when he beatified three Maltese including George Preca who was canonised in 2007, while Pope Benedict XVI was on the island in 2010.
The exhibition also links with the theme of Pope Francis’s visit to Malta, “they showed us unusual kindness”, taken from chapter 28 of the Acts of the Apostles, which highlights the plight of migrants crossing the Mediterranean towards Europe as well as promoting evangelisation in the country.
The theme also recalls the hospitable and warm welcome St Paul received in 60 A.D., when his boat was shipwrecked and washed upon the shores of Malta, and takes on added significance with recent migrant flows into Europe from Ukraine.
While in Malta, the Holy Father will be visiting Gozo, praying at St Paul’s Grotto, celebrating Mass on the Granaries in Floriana and visiting the Peace Laboratory in Ħal Far which hosts migrants.
The exhibition has been put up by the Archdiocese of Malta with the support of the Malta Government.