Pope Francis is expected to visit France today for a two-day visit. In the second largest city of Marseille, the head of the Catholic Church participates in a youth meeting with participants from 29 countries in the Mediterranean region.
The focus of attention is likely to be the fate of refugees and migrants trying to reach Europe from Africa via the Mediterranean.
Thousands of people have arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa alone this month. Fatal accidents also happen again and again.
Migration in focus
The Pope wants to stop at the Basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde at the memorial to migrants who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. Francis, 86, is likely to comment on the current problems there. According to French sources, immigration will also be an important topic during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday.
On Saturday, the Pope will also celebrate a Mass at the Velodrome Stadium in Marseille, where about 60,000 faithful are expected to attend. Macron will also be present. This led to debates in France, where the strict separation of state and religion is observed. The number of spectators is expected to reach 100,000 along the route that Francis will travel with the Pope.
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