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Index – Outside – Thousands of police and gendarmes flooded the streets of Marseille

Index – Outside – Thousands of police and gendarmes flooded the streets of Marseille

The head of the Catholic Church was received at Marignan Airport by French Prime Minister Elizabeth Bourne.

France’s second-largest city is decorated everywhere in the yellow and white colors of the Vatican, above all the famous promenade, the Prado, where 100,000 people are expected on Saturday, when the head of the church can drive along it in the papal car.

The Pope last visited France in 2008, the 14th. In the person of Benedict XVI. Although Pope Francis visited Strasbourg in the eastern part of the country in 2014, he visited the European Parliament at that time. There has not been a Catholic bishop in Marseille for nearly five hundred years.

The 86-year-old Pope previously indicated that he was not coming to France on a state visit, but specifically to visit Marseille, where different religions and communities have lived together for a long time.

The main theme of the visit is to draw attention to the tragedy of shipwrecks in the Mediterranean and the suffering of refugees.

On Friday, the Pope will participate in a joint prayer with the diocesan priests in the Basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde. Then he bows his head before representatives of other faiths at the memorial site for sailors and migrants who disappeared at sea.

On the second day of his visit, Pope Francis will participate in the closing session of the Mediterranean Meetings event and deliver a speech, followed by a discussion with Emmanuel Macron, MTI reported.

The French Head of State will be present in the afternoon at the Olympique de Marseille football team stadium, where the Pope will offer the Mass that concludes the visit to about 60,000 people.

During the papal visit, exceptional security measures were implemented in Marseille, where six thousand policemen and gendarmes maintain order in the streets.