Registration open for Pope Francis's landmark Bahrain Mass

Thousands of worshippers expected to gather at Bahrain National Stadium

The pontiff will travel to Bahrain for a four-day visit in November. Thousands of Catholics are expected to attend a Mass. Photo: Reuters
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Registration is now open for worshippers hoping to attend Pope Francis's public Mass during his landmark tour of Bahrain next month.

Thousands of people are expected to congregate at the Bahrain National Stadium on November 5, in a milestone moment for the Catholic faith in the country.

The stadium has a capacity of 24,000 and is mostly used for football matches. It is not yet known how many people will be in attendance for the event, which will begin at 8.30am.

The official website for the papal visit states that registration will be online only, with places reserved for members of the Southern Vicariate.

The open-air Mass will be a highlight of a busy four-day visit to the region, which starts on November 3, during which the Pontiff will also meet national and religious leaders and visit churches and a local school.

Registration details can be found on the official Bahrain papal visit website.

“Since spaces are limited, a system of registration, strictly reserved for the faithful of the Southern Vicariate who seriously intend to attend the Papal Mass, is implemented online only,” the website said.

Pope returns to Middle East

Pope Francis embarked on a historic three-day visit to the UAE in February 2019, the first made by a leader of the Roman Catholic Church to the Arabian Peninsula.

More than 150,000 gathered for Mass in Abu Dhabi as Pope Francis blessed the congregation and sent out a message of peace.

Tens of thousands of people queued up overnight at free transport centres across Dubai to travel to the capital and catch a glimpse of the Pope.

The Document on Human Fraternity, signed by Pope Francis and Dr Ahmed Al Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar and chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, during the visit, has been hailed for promoting inter-faith harmony. It aims to unite people in a spirit of respect and tolerance.

Bahrain awaits historic visit

On arrival in Bahrain on November 3, Pope Francis will visit Bahrain’s King Hamad at the Sakhir Royal Palace.

This will be followed by a welcome ceremony in the courtyard and a meeting with diplomats, government officials and members of the public, according to the Holy See press office.

On Friday, November 4, the Pope will speak at the closing session of the Bahrain Forum for Dialogue: East and West for Human Co-existence.

More than 200 global faith leaders and scholars are taking part in the conference and discussions will cover the role of religious heads in addressing global challenges and interfaith dialogue for world peace.

After a private meeting with Dr Al Tayeb, Pope Francis will address members of the Muslim Council of Elders, of which Dr Al Tayeb is the chairman.

He will say a prayer for peace at the Our Lady of Arabia Cathedral at 5.45pm.

After addressing thousands of worshippers at the November 5 Mass, Pope Francis will meet young people at a local school.

On the morning of Sunday, November 6, the Pope will address a prayer meeting with bishops, priests and church workers at the Sacred Heart Church in Manama, before he departs at noon for Rome.

The message of the papal visit to Bahrain is “peace on Earth to people of goodwill” and the logo shows the flags of the Holy See and Bahrain cradling an olive branch, symbolising peace.

This emblem represents, “the commitment of people and nations to encounter each other free from prejudice and in a spirit of openness as brothers and sisters”, the Holy See press office said.

Updated: October 18, 2022, 12:03 PM