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Thursday, September 29, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 29 SEP 2011 (VIS) - Benedict XVI is due to make an apostolic trip to Benin from 18 to 20 November, for the signing and publication of the Apostolic Exhortation of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops.

The Holy Father will depart from Rome at 9 a.m. on Friday 18 November, arriving at Cotonou at 3 p.m. Following the welcome ceremony at the airport he will visit the local cathedral.

On Saturday 19 November the Pope will meet with members of the government, representatives of State institutions, the diplomatic corps and leaders of the principal religions at the presidential palace in Cotonou. Later that morning he will visit the grave of Cardinal Bernardin Gantin in the chapel of the Seminary of St. Gall at Ouidah before going on to meet with priests, seminarians, religious and lay faithful in the seminary courtyard. He will subsequently visit Ouidah's Basilica of the Immaculate Conception where he will sign the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation.

That afternoon Pope Benedict will visit the "Peace and Joy" house, run by the Missionaries of Charity in the parish of St. Rita in Cotonou, and meet with a group of children. At 6.15 p.m. he is due to meet the bishops of Benin at the apostolic nunciature.

On Sunday 20 November, the Pope will celebrate Mass and consign the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation to the bishops of Africa at Cotonou's "Stade de l'amitie". He will then have lunch at the apostolic nunciature with members of the Special Council for Africa of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops before travelling to the local "Cardinal Bernardin Gantin" airport where, at 4.30 p.m., he will board his return flight to Rome.
PV-BENIN/ VIS 20110929 (300)

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