Egypt: Press Release - Pope John Paul II Comes to Egypt

Press Release

Egyptian Tourist Authority

February 17, 2000

Pope John Paul II Comes to Egypt

His Holiness Pope John Paul II will arrive in Cairo on February 24, 2000, on a three-day visit, during which he will be received by President Hosni Mubarak at the Presidential Palace in Heliopolis. Pope John Paul II is also scheduled to visit His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, patriarch of the Coptic Church, and His Eminence Sheikh Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar. Furthermore, a holy mass will be held by Pope John Paul II on February 25, in which 20,000 people will participate at Cairo Stadium.

On the other hand, the Pope's pilgrimage to Egypt will take him to St. Catherine's Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai where he wishes to pray in the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments. Pope John Paul II has spoken previously of such a trip in the framework of the spiritual nature of Catholic pilgrimages in 2000, which will begin Christianity's third millennium.

Meanwhile, the papal visit to Egypt is considered a milestone in the context of the Ministry of Tourism's project to revive the itinerary of the Holy Family during their four-year stay in Egypt. This project aims at creating a new product for tour operators and travel agents to add to their Egypt programs, and to introduce the world to places of great historical and religious value, and which are designated as pilgrimage destinations for the Jubilee Year 2000. Tourists and pilgrims from all over the world will be able to access the holy traces of the Holy Family in Egypt.