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“I invite all Colombians, without distinction, to joyfully welcome the visit of Pope Francis. He comes to bring us a message of peace, that peace that we are all called to build from hearts open to forgiveness, to reconciliation and solidarity.” These were the words of Cardinal Ruben Salazar, Archbishop of Bogotá, upon the announcement of the theme of the Holy Father’s visit to Colombia. The theme, which we can already be seen on posters, banners, t-shirts and buttons is “Demos el primer paso” or “Let’s take the first step.”

This will be the third time a pope visits the South American nation: Paul VI was there in 1968 and John Paul II visited in 1986, but this is what they call an “exclusive visit” in that the Pope will not visit any other countries during this trip.

It is estimated that over 200,000 Colombians have lost their lives in the five-decades-long civil war that ravaged the country since the 1960s. A cease-fire was signed between the government and the FARC Guerrilla forces in June 2016. As a result, president, Juan Manuel Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The peace deal, however, is still being negotiated.

Upon confirmation of the Holy Father’s visit, President Santos said that “the Holy Father comes to support Colombians in the building of peace.”He added that the Pope’s visit will “help all Colombians to continue coming together towards a country that is more just, that has more solidarity and equity and (that is) in peace.”

Pope Francis will arrive in Colombia on September 6th, but his activities will begin the following day. He will visit four cities during his trip. Bogotá, the capital city and seat of the Cardinal; Villavicencio, because it is in the region most affected by the armed conflict and also because it is a city with great ecological value. Medellin was chosen because it is the city with the largest ecclesial presence in the country, and Cartagena, because of the great presence of afro-Colombians. Cartagena is also the place where the remains of St. Peter Claver rest. Peter Claver is the patron saint of slaves, race relations, ministry to African-Americans, seafarers and also the Patron of Colombia. September 9 in Colombia, is the Human Rights National Day in honour of the Saint.

This historic visit is an opportunity for all Colombians to reflect on their reality and to commit to taking that first step in recognizing and understanding the suffering of others and in forgiving those who have hurt them. It is an opportunity that allows Colombians to come together in order to begin healing their wounds and to take that first step in building the country that they’ve always dreamt of.

TV Schedule

Cardinal Lacroix Remembers

Daily Recap and Papal Mass

Deacon Pedro and guest, Fr. Carlos Sierra cover the day’s events and cover the Holy Mass, presided by Pope Francis at Simon Bolivar Park in Bogota.

Papal Mass in Villavicencio

Pope Francis presides at Mass in Villavicencio on day two of his historic visit to Colombia.

Prayer Meeting for National Reconciliation

Pope Francis prays for National Reconciliation at the Parque Las Malocas and visits the Cross of Reconciliation at the Parque de los Fundadores in Villavicencio.

Papal Mass in Medellin

Pope Francis presides at Mass at the Enrique Olaya Herrera airport of Medellin.

Visit to San Jose Home and Gathering with Priests and Religious

Pope Francis visits an orphanage in Medellin and then meets with priests, men and women religious, consecrated persons, seminarians and their families.

Visit to Talitha Qum

Pope Francis blesses the corner stone of a home for homeless people and the work of the Talitha Qum Proyect at St. Francis of Assisi Square in Cartagena


Pope Francis prays the Angelus in front of the house of patron saint of slaves, St. Peter Claver and then visits the Shrine of St. Peter Claver.

Papal Mass

Pope Francis celebrates his final Mass in Colombia at the port area of Contecar in Cartagena.
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