.- In a little more than a week Pope Benedict will visit the Italian diocese of Genoa and the city of Savona for two days. The Vatican announced the Pope’s schedule this morning as the Archbishop of Genoa says that his flock is joyfully awaiting his arrival.
The Pope will arrive at Genoa’s airport on the afternoon of Saturday, May 17 at 4:30, and then board a helicopter to travel to the shrine of Our Lady of Mercy in Savona.
After visiting the shrine, Benedict XVI will be taken by car to the Piazza del Popolo in Savona where, at 5:45 p.m., he will concelebrate Holy Mass and give the homily.
The Holy Father will take a helicopter back to Genoa in the evening and land at the shrine of the Virgin of the Watch in Ceranesi, where he will spend the night.
At nine o’clock on Sunday morning, the Pope will make a private visit to the shrine and will then be taken by helicopter to Genoa where he will arrive at the Villa Gentile Sports Center around 9:40 a.m. From there will be taken by car to the Gaslini Children's Hospital where he will meet the medical staff and the children who are patients and their families. He will then be taken by car to Piazza Matteotti where, at 11:15 a.m., he will
meet with the youth of the area, addressing them and praying the Angelus with them.
From Piazza Matteotti, the Pope will travel to the Genoese Cathedral of St. Lawrence where, at 12:20 p.m., he will meet with the cathedral's chapter and consecrated men and women, addressing them. He will then be taken to the Benedict XV Seminary where he will lunch with the Ligurian bishops.
At 4:30 p.m. he will arrive at the Piazza della Vittoria to concelebrate Holy Mass and give the homily. Afterward, Benedict XVI will be taken to Christopher Columbus Airport where his flight will leave at 7:00 p.m., returning to Rome around 7:50 p.m.
Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco is asking the faithful to surround the Pope with their “affection, prayers and support.” According to AGI news agency, Cardinal Bagnasco says the ambience in the city is very different how the press portrays it: "There is a great sense of joy and excitement. Joy because the Holy Father, visiting Genoa, greatly honors our city and our local Church; it's a grace for the confirmation of faith."