Apostolic Visit to Malta by H.H Pope Francis


​Pope Francis arrives in Malta for a two-day visit, and is welcomed by President of Malta George Vella, Prime Minister Robert Abela, and other dignitaries. This marks the first papal visit to the country in 12 years.
During the welcome ceremony at the Malta International Airport, two children greet the Pope with flowers, while the Maltese and Papal anthems are played, and the Maltese and Vatican City flags are unfurled. 
Pope Francis is the third pope to visit the Maltese Islands. The first pope to visit Malta was Pope John Paul II, who visited the country in 1990, and again in 2001. Pope Benedict XVI visited Malta in 2010.

Pope Francis being greeted by cheering crowds in Valletta.​

President George Vella greets Pope Francis upon his arrival at the Presidential Palace courtyard in Valletta

​Pope Francis gives President of Malta a medal depicting the statue of St Paul, which can be found at The Collegiate Parish Church of St Paul's Shipwreck in Valletta​​, with the serpent that bit him trampled und​er his feet. 

​The dome of the Cathedral, with a view of Malta, can be seen on the left side of the medal, with Gozo's Ta' Pinu Sanctuary and the prow of a boat, commemorating St Paul's shipwreck in the year 60 AD, to the right.


A meeting between President George Vella and Pope Francis ensues.

The Pope, then, signs the visitors' book. 

​Bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Robert Abela and Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's Secretary of State.

Pope Francis meets with Prime Minister Robert Abela and his family.​

The Government of Malta's gift to Pope Francis is a medical instrument which examines the blood of persons living in poverty and who use the services of the pontifical clinic 'Madre della Misericordia'. 

This clinic is part of the series of actions that Pope Francis has undertaken to transform Vatican City into a Citadel of Mercy.

Pope Francis meets with Maltese authorities.

President George Vella makes a speech to welcome Pope Francis to Malta.

Following the President's welcoming remarks, Pope Francis addresses the dignitaries at The Palace.

In his message, the pontiff thanks the President for his warm welcome and mentions how Malta is also known as “the heart of the Mediterranean". The Pope also quotes Malta's national poet, Dun Karm Psaila, in the Maltese national anthem, praying to God to give wisdom to those governing the country. 

Pope Francis also refers to Apostle Paul's journey to Malta, who, according to the Acts of the Apostles, was on a ship on his way to Rome, when he was shipwrecked on Malta and was welcomed by its people.

In Pope Francis's words, “May Malta, the heart of the Mediterranean, continue to foster the heartbeat of hope, care for life, acceptance of others, yearning for peace, with the help of the God whose name is peace".

Pope Francis, President George Vella and Mrs Vella, Prime Minister Robert Abela, and Mrs Abela, greet the crowds gathered in St George’s Square, from the Balcony.


President George Vella presented an oil on canvas painting by local artist Manwel Farrugia as a gift to Pope Francis.

The painting depicts St Paul holding a book made of authentic paper from the Acts of the Apostles, quoting the event from the Bible when St Paul was shipwrecked on the island.

The painting also depicts the closing verse of the National anthem, “Seddaq il-għaqda fil-Maltin u s-sliem".


Pope Francis meets with Leader of the Opposition, Bernard Grech. 

Pope Francis leaving The Palace.