At the end of today's general audience, held in St. Peter's Square, the Pope mentioned his forthcoming apostolic trip to Poland, "homeland of the beloved John Paul II." There, he said, "I will visit the places of his life and of his priestly and episcopal ministry."
After giving thanks to God for "the opportunity of fulfilling a desire I have long held in my heart," the Holy Father invited those present "to accompany me with your prayers on this apostolic trip which I undertake with great hope, and which I entrust to the Virgin Mary, so venerated in Poland."
"May she guide my steps that I may confirm the beloved Catholic community of Poland in the faith, encouraging it to face the challenges of the present time with incisive evangelical action," the pope declared before the faithful present on Saint Peters square.
"May Mary," he concluded, "ensure that the entire nation is granted a renewed springtime of faith and civil progress, while conserving the memory of my great predecessor."