Pope spends birthday in the Vatican, prepares for Malta

.- Just one day before his first Apostolic Journey for 2010, Pope Benedict XVI is celebrating his 83rd birthday today. This afternoon he will spend some time resting as the final preparations are being made for his whirlwind trip to the Mediterranean island of Malta.

The Holy Father will spend his birthday in the Vatican, before an event-filled weekend in Malta.

Besides separate morning audiences with Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, who is the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, five Brazilian bishops finishing up their “ad Limina” visit and 120 members of the U.S.-based Papal Foundation, no specific plans for the day have been made public.

In the meantime, the island of Malta is preparing for the Pope’s arrival.

He will only be in the island country for a little over 26 hours, beginning with his arrival on Saturday afternoon. Despite the short duration of his trip, the Pope has three major engagements in addition to arrival and departure ceremonies. The Holy Father is expected to be joined by tens of thousands of Maltese at his major events. In anticipation of the crowds, stages have been prepared for Mass in the main "Granaries" square of Floriana and on the capital city of Valleta's waterfront for a meeting with the youth.

The other major stop, is a visit to the Cave of St. Paul in Rabat, thought to have been where the saint preached when he was shipwrecked on the island 1,950 years ago.

Archbishop Paul Cremona of Malta made the final inspections of the venues on Tuesday and everything appears to be in order. Local media has reported that security has been increased for the occasion after plans were announced in the British media of possible demonstrations against the papal visit.

Vatican insiders say that the Pope may also make time during his visit to meet with victims of sexual abuse by priests. Holy See spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, speaking to journalists this week at a press conference about the trip, said that while he couldn’t confirm such a meeting, the possibility couldn’t be excluded.

The possible encounter would follow this week's meeting between Archbishop Cremona and victims, during which an audience with the Pope was requested.

The Holy Father will return from his first trip to Malta on Sunday afternoon, and the following day will mark the milestone of the fifth anniversary of his pontificate.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 20, 2014


All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:13-35


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Second Reading:: Col 3:1-4
Gospel:: Jn 20:1-9

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:13-35


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: