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Friday, September 5, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 5 SEP 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Archbishop Alfio Rapisarda, apostolic nuncio to Portugal.

 - Five prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Leopoldo Jose Brenes Solorzano of Managua.

    - Bishop Juan Abelardo Mata Guevara S.D.B. of Esteli.

    - Bishop Bernardo Hombach of Granada.

    - Bishop Carlos Enrique Herrera Gutierrez O.F.M. of Jinotega.

    - Bishop Rene Socrates Sandigo Jiron of Juigalpa.
AP:AL/.../...                                VIS 20080905 (80)


VATICAN CITY, 5 SEP 2008 (VIS) - The presidency of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), taking up the appeal launched by Benedict XVI, has today (the liturgical memory of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta) called all Italian dioceses to observe a day of prayer and fasting for Christians in India.

  This initiative, which may also be celebrated on a different day established by the diocesan bishop, is "a sign of spiritual closeness and solidarity with our brothers and sisters of India, so sorely tried in the faith", says a CEI communique.

  On 27 August, the Pope called for an immediate end to acts of violence against Christian communities in the Indian state of Orissa, which began following the murder of the Hindu leader Swami Lakshmananda Saraswati.

  Benedict XVI invited "religious leaders and civil authorities to work together to restore among the members of the various communities the peaceful coexistence and harmony which have always been the distinguishing mark of Indian society".

  For his part, Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil C.SS.R., major archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Syro-Malabars and president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, called all the dioceses of his country to observe a day of prayer and fasting on Sunday 7 September, so as to express "solidarity with all the victims and prayer for all our missionaries in India, who are facing most trying and difficult times for the sake of the Gospel".
.../FASTING PRAYER INDIA/...                    VIS 20080905 (250)


VATICAN CITY, 5 SEP 2008 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today published the calendar of celebrations to be presided over by the Holy Father between the months of September and November:


 - Sunday 7: 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. Pastoral visit to Cagliari, Italy.

 - Friday 12 - Monday 15: Pastoral visit to France for the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the apparitions of Lourdes.

 - Sunday 21: 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time. At 9 a.m. in the cathedral of Albano, Italy, Mass and dedication of the altar.


 - Sunday 5: 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time. At 9.30 a.m. in the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, opening of the Twelfth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.

 - Thursday 9: At 11.30 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica. Mass to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Servant of God Pope Pius XII.

 - Sunday 12: 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time. At 10 a.m. in St. Peter's Square, canonisation of the following blesseds: Gaetano Errico, Maria Bernarda Butler, Alfonsa of the Immaculate Conception (nee: Anna Muttathupandathu), and Narcisa de Jesus Martillo Moran.

 - Sunday 19: 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Pastoral visit to the Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of the Holy Rosary of Pompei, Italy. Mass at 10 a.m. and praying of the Rosary at 5 p.m.

 - Sunday 26: 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time. At 9.30 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, conclusion of the Twelfth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.


 - Monday 3: At 11.30 a.m. at the altar of the Cathedra in the Vatican Basilica, Mass for cardinals and bishops who died over the course of the year.

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