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Thursday, March 26, 2009


VATICAN CITY, 26 MAR 2009 (VIS) - The programme of Benedict XVI's apostolic trip to the Holy Land, due to take place from 8 to 15 May, was made public today.

  The Pope will depart from Rome's Fiumicino airport at 9.30 a.m. on 8 May, landing at Queen Alia airport in the Jordanian capital, Amman, at 2.30 p.m. At 3.30 p.m. he is due to visit the city's "Regina Pacis" Centre, then make a courtesy visit to the Jordanian monarchs at the al-Husseinye royal palace.

  On the morning of Saturday 9 May he will visit the Memorial of Moses on Mount Nebo, and bless the cornerstone of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem's Madaba University.

  Having visited the Hashemite Museum and the Mosque of al-Hussein bin Talal in Amman, he will meet with Muslim religious leaders, the diplomatic corps and rectors of Jordanian universities. Later that day he will preside at the celebration of Vespers with priests, religious, seminarians and ecclesial movements in the Greek-Melkite cathedral of St. George in Amman.

  On the morning of Sunday 10 May the Holy Father will celebrate Mass and pray the Regina Coeli at the international stadium in Amman. That afternoon he is scheduled to visit Bethany Beyond the Jordan, site of the Lord's Baptism, where he will bless the cornerstones of the Latin and Greek-Melkite churches.

  On Monday 11 May, having celebrated Mass in private at the apostolic nunciature in Amman, he will travel by plane to Tel Aviv, Israel, where the welcome ceremony is due to take place at 11 a.m. in the city's Ben Gurion airport. That afternoon he will make a courtesy visit to the president of Israel at the presidential palace in Jerusalem. Subsequently he will visit the Yad Vashem Memorial and hold a meeting with organisations for inter-religious dialogue.

  On Tuesday 12 May he will visit the Dome of the Rock on Temple Mount in Jerusalem and meet the Grand Mufti. He will also visit the Western Wall and meet with the two Chief Rabbis of Israel at the Hechal Shlomo Centre. At midday he is due to pray the Regina Coeli with ordinaries of the Holy Land in the Cenacle of Jerusalem and to make a brief visit to the co-cathedral of the Latins. That afternoon he will celebrate Mass in the Valley of Josaphat.

  At 9 a.m. on Wednesday 13 May the Holy Father will deliver an address on the square in front of the presidential palace in Bethlehem then celebrate Mass in Manger Square at 10 a.m. At 12.30 p.m. he will lunch with the ordinaries of the Holy Land, the Franciscan community and the papal entourage at the Casa Nova monastery in Bethlehem

  That afternoon, following a private visit at 3.30 p.m. to the Grotto of the Nativity, Benedict XVI will travel to the Caritas Baby Hospital and, shortly thereafter, to the Aida Refugee Camp, where he will deliver an address. At 6 p.m. he will make a courtesy visit to the president of the Palestine National Authority in the presidential palace of Bethlehem, after which the departure ceremony will take place on the square in front of the palace.

  At 10 a.m. on Thursday 14 May the Pope will celebrate Mass on the Mount of Precipice in Nazareth. At 3.50 p.m. he will meet the Israeli prime minister in the city's Franciscan convent, and at 4.30 p.m. greet religious leaders of Galilee in the auditorium of the Basilica of the Annunciation, where he will pronounce an address. Later he will travel to the Grotto of the Annunciation where at 5.30 p.m. he will preside at Vespers with bishops, priests, religious, ecclesial movements and pastoral workers.

  On Friday 15 May the Pope will celebrate an early private Mass in the chapel of the apostolic delegation to Jerusalem, then attend an ecumenical meeting at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate. After this he will visit the Holy Sepulchre and the Armenian patriarchal church of St. James in Jerusalem.

  Following the departure ceremony at Ben Gurion international airport in Tel Aviv, the papal plane is due to take off at 2 p.m. bound for Rome where it is expected to land at Ciampino airport at 4.50 p.m. Roman time.
OP/PROGRAMME PAPAL TRIP/HOLY LAND            VIS 20090326 (720)


VATICAN CITY, 26 MAR 2009 (VIS) - In the Vatican Basilica at 6 p.m. on Thursday 2 April, Benedict XVI will preside at a Mass marking the fourth anniversary of the death of Servant of God John Paul II.

  A note from the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff explains that young people from the diocese of Rome are particularly welcome at the ceremony, as a preparation for World Youth Day, which is due to be celebrated this year at the diocesan level on 5 April.
OCL/ANNIVERSARY DEATH/JOHN PAUL II            VIS 20090326 (110)


VATICAN CITY, 26 MAR 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences seven prelates from the Argentinean Episcopal Conference, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Jose Maria Arancibia of Mendoza, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Sergio Osvaldo Buenanueva.

    - Bishop Hector Sabatino Cardelli of San Nicolas de los Arroyos.

    - Archbishop Alfonso Rogelio Delgado Evers of San Juan de Cuyo

    - Bishop Ramon Alfredo Dus of Reconquista.

    - Bishop Ricardo Oscar Faifer of Goya.

    - Bishop Marcelo Raul Martorell of Puerto Iguazu.

  This evening he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
AL:AP/.../...                                VIS 20090326 (110)
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