Pope Francis begins his Apostolic Journey to the United Arab Emirates, departing from Rome's Fiumicino Airport.
Vatican City: February 3, 2019. (Vatican News) Immediately following the Sunday Angelus prayer, Pope Francis headed out to Fiumicino Airport to begin his 27th Apostolic Journey abroad.
But before boarding, the Holy Father made a brief stop at a homeless shelter set up at the airport and promoted by Aeroporti di Roma and Caritas of Porto-Santa Rufina. He greeted those assisted by the project, which began in 2017 and carries the name, "Life in transit: the human face of an airport".
Pope Francis then boarded the Alitalia Boeing 777, which took off at 1:27 PM.
The papal plane arrives in Abu Dhabi around 10:00 PM local time (7:00 PM Rome time).
Traditional Marian visit
On Saturday evening, Pope Francis made his traditional visit to the Basilica of St. Mary Major to pray before the ancient Roman icon of Mary Salus Populi Romani.