Prime Minister António Costa will be received today by the Pope at the Vatican to thank him for choosing Portugal to host World Youth Day (WYD) and for Francis’ visit to the country in August.
According to António Costa’s office, the audience with the Pope, held at the request of the head of the Portuguese government, begins at 09:00 (08:00 in Lisbon).
The rest of the Portuguese delegation, which includes the Minister for Foreign Affairs, João Gomes Cravinho, and the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Ana Catarina Mendes, who was responsible for organizing World Youth Day (WYD), will then join the meeting.
After the meeting with the Pope, António Costa will be received in audience by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, accompanied by João Gomes Cravinho, Ana Catarina Mendes and Ambassador Domingos Fezas Vital.
António Costa will also pay a brief visit to the Vatican Archives and Library.
This will be the fourth time that António Costa, as Prime Minister, has met Pope Francis.
The first occasion was the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome on March 25, 2017, when the European Council met with Pope Francis in the Sistine Chapel.
That same year, in May, the Prime Minister met Francis on the occasion of the Pope’s first trip to Portugal, specifically to the Sanctuary of Fátima, on the occasion of the centenary of the events at Cova da Iria.
His third moment as head of government took place last August at WYD.
As mayor of Lisbon, António Costa was at the Vatican for a public audience with other representatives of the Magellanic Cities Network.
WYD, considered to be the Catholic Church’s biggest event, took place between August 1st and 6th in Lisbon, presided over by Pope Francis, who also visited the Shrine of Fatima.
This is considered to be the Catholic Church’s biggest event. At WYD Lisbon 2023, 1.5 million people took part, according to the organization’s figures.