- Oct 27, 2020
The Vatican has released the official schedule for Pope Francis’s trip to Chile and Peru, taking place Jan. 15-21. The Peru-Chile trip will be the pontiff’s fourth to South America. In July 2013, he visited Brazil for World Youth Day. In July 2015, he traveled to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay. His trip to Colombia in September was his third visit to the continent as pope.
The Lord of Miracles – a Peruvian image of a darker-skinned Jesus – is believed to have been painted by an Angolan-born slave. After a devastating earthquake in 1655, the wall with the mural was one of the few parts of the church still intact. Deeming this a miracle, people gave the image an additional name — “The Christ of Earthquakes” — and almost ever since have paid homage to it in citywide processions.
Pope Francis on Sunday announced that he’s calling a special Synod of Bishops in October 2019 for the Pan-Amazon region in Latin America, meaning the countries of the Amazon — Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Perú, Venezuela and Surinam. It’s the first time Francis has called a synod for a specific region, something that St. John Paul II used to do to signal a special concern.
On Saturday the Vatican released the official logo for Pope Francis’s upcoming January 2018 visit to Peru, the fifth most populous Latin American nation. It features an image of Francis over a map of the country, symbolizing his “closeness”, hands raised in prayer, praise and joy for the visit, as well as the trip’s motto, “United by Hope.”
In a video released by the Archbishop of Lima, Juan Luis Cipriani, Pope Francis invites all Peruvians to follow the “great saints” of Peru, who always worked for unity. He also invited them to look to the future with hope, rather than with bitterness or skepticism. The message echoes the legacy of two great Peruvian saints, St. Rose of Lima and St. Martín de Porres.
When the Vatican recently announced yet another papal trip to Latin America without a stop in the pontiff’s native Argentina, speculation again made the rounds about why Francis isn’t going home. Perhaps it’s time for everyone, Argentines especially, to take a breath and consider that perhaps he simply has bigger fish to fry.