Pope Francis to host mass at Quebec pilgrimage site following second apology

Pope Francis is set to begin his second day of events in Quebec’s capital city as part of his tour that he has called a pilgrimage of penance.

The pontiff is scheduled to host his second mass on Canadian soil later this morning.

The event will take place at the shrine of Ste-Anne-de-Beaupré, east of Quebec City.

The site is one of the oldest and most popular places of pilgrimage in North America and annually attracts more than one million visitors.

Organizers expect more than 16,000 people will attend though attendance during events in Alberta has been overestimated. 

Later in the day, he is to attend vespers with church officials in the Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame de Québec.

Francis arrived in the city for two days of events on Wednesday morning.

Speaking at Quebec City’s historic Citadelle, the Pope asked forgiveness for the harm done by the policies of assimilation carried out in residential schools.

Francis made his way to the historic site for private meetings with Gov. Gen. Mary Simon and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

He later addressed a small room of Indigenous dignitaries and residential school survivors.

The pontiff expressed deep shame and sorrow for the part different local Roman Catholic institutions played in the deplorable system.

It is the second papal apology on Canadian soil for Francis who is midway through his tour.

On Monday, he begged forgiveness for the “evil committed by so many Christians against the Indigenous Peoples,” during a speech in Maskwacis, Alta.

He is to make a brief stop in Iqaluit on Friday before heading home to Vatican City. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 28, 2022.