The pontiff’s historic trip to Bahrain will see devotees from across the Gulf attend a public mass in Manama.
People attend the first mass at Our Lady of Arabia Cathedral in Manama, Bahrain on December 11, 2021. [Getty]
Bahraini media reported that around 28,000 worshipers will attend a public Mass next month hosted by Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church and ruler of Vatican City State. The mass is to take place at the Bahrain National Stadium.
Of the 28,000 people expected, 24,000 will come from Bahrain. 2,000 devotees are confirmed to come from Saudi Arabia, 500 places have been allocated to devotees from the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Oman, and another 900 places will be reserved for visitors from other countries.
According to Bahraini media, papal souvenirs in red and yellow colors, symbolizing the flags of Bahrain and the Holy See, were seen in two church shops in the Gulf state.
“For the Papal Mass, we are expecting 28,000 people, which matches the capacity of the stadium, and the majority will come from Bahrain – almost 24,000 people,” said the communications director of the Apostolic Vicariate of South Arabia, John E John, at The National of Bahrain.
The mass will also operate with the help of 700 volunteers, about 300 ministers of the Eucharist to distribute communion and 120 priests including bishops and cardinals.
Bahrain is about to issue electronic visas to those who have official invitations.
“The authorities of the Kingdom of Bahrain have notified that they will issue an electronic visa to all those who hold a valid entry pass,” said Bishop Paul Hinder, administrator of the Apostolic Vicariate of North Arabia according to The National.
The Pope’s visit and mass will also be available live.
The Pope will visit the Cathedral of Our Lady of Arabia south of Manama. The cathedral, which will welcome the Pope on November 4, is the largest in the Gulf region and can accommodate at least 2,300 people.