The Holy Father asked for prayers on behalf of his coming trip to Cyprus during the English greeting after Sunday's Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square.
He was joined for the Marian prayer by an estimated 50,000 faithful and pilgrims.
Referring to his coming Apostolic Journey to Cyprus, from June 4-6, Pope Benedict said he would be going to the nation "to meet and pray with the Catholic and Orthodox faithful there and to consign the Instrumentum Laboris (working document) for the upcoming Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Middle East."
The document will serve to further the process of establishing the scope and focus of the Special Assembly to take place in October of this year in the Vatican with the theme "The Catholic Church in the Middle East: Communion and Witness. 'Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul.'"
The Holy Father asked for prayers for this encounter of preparation and also for "prayers for the peace and prosperity of all the people of Cyprus."
Concluding his English language blessing, he invoked the blessing of the most holy Trinity upon all present and their "loved ones at home."