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All preparations have now been completed for the celebration of Holy Mass by visiting His Holiness Pope Francis at Galle Face grounds at 8.30 this morning.

By now a very large crowd of devotees are seen gathering at Galle Face grounds for participating in the Holy Mass.

The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka said that His Holiness the Pope would arrive at Galle Face grounds at about 7.30 a.m.

Subsequently the Pope will proceed in an open vehicle blessing the devotees.

The Holy Mass will begin thereafter.

Permission had been given to devotees participating in the Holy Mass to enter Galle Face grounds from 5 p.m. yesterday.

Our news team inquired about today’s programme of His Holiness Pope Francis from National Catholic Mass Communication Unit Director Reverend Father Cyril Gamini.

Pope Francis will officiate at the Pontifical High Mass concelebrated with the participation of Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith along with other Cardinals, Bishops and priests at 8 am today, in which the Supreme Head of the Catholic Church will declare Blessed Joseph Vaz, the Apostle of Sri Lanka a Saint of the Universal Church.

Blessed Joseph Vaz will thus be the first Saint from Sri Lankan soil to be elevated to Sainthood, in the presence of thousands of devotees who will gather at Galle Face Green to witness this historic ceremony.

Pope Francis will then leave for the Madhu Shrine in Mannar at 2.00 p.m. today.

His Holiness will be accompanied by the Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith.

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