.- The Vatican made public today the liturgical schedule of Pope Benedict XVI between Ash Wednesday, which falls on Feb. 21st this year, and the Fourth Sunday of Easter. The schedule includes the Pontiff’s traditional Holy Week celebrations, a Pastoral visit within Italy, and a celebration of Pope Benedict’s 80th birthday.
- Wednesday 21, Ash Wednesday. In the basilica of Santa Sabina at 5 p.m., blessing and imposition of the ashes.
- Sunday 25, first Sunday of Lent At 6 p.m. in the Apostolic Palace's "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel, beginning of the spiritual exercises of the Roman Curia.
- Saturday 3. At 9 a.m. in the Apostolic Palace's "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel, conclusion of the spiritual exercises of the Roman Curia.
- Sunday, 25, fifth Sunday of Lent. Pastoral visit to the Roman parish of St. Felicity and her martyr children. At 9.30 a.m., celebration of the Eucharist.
- Thursday 29. At 5.30 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, penitential celebration with young people from the diocese of Rome.
- Sunday 1, Palm Sunday and the Passion of the Lord. At 9.30 a.m. in St. Peter's Square, blessing of palms, procession and Mass.
- Monday 2. In the Vatican Basilica at 5.30 p.m., Mass for Pope John Paul II.
- Thursday 5, Holy Thursday. In the Vatican Basilica at 9.30 a.m., Chrism Mass. In the Basilica of St. John Lateran at 5.30 p.m., the beginning of the Easter Triduum with the Mass of the Last Supper.
- Friday 6, Good Friday. In the Vatican Basilica at 5 p.m., celebration of the Lord's Passion. Way of the Cross at the Colosseum at 9.15 p.m.
- Saturday 7, Holy Saturday. Easter vigil at 10 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica.
- Sunday 8, Easter Sunday. Mass in St. Peter's Square at 10.30 a.m. At midday, from the central loggia of St. Peter's Basilica, "Urbi et Orbi" blessing.
- Sunday 15, second Sunday of Easter. At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Mass for the 80th birthday of Benedict XVI (born on April 16, 1927).
- Saturday 21 - Sunday 22, pastoral visit to Vigevano and Pavia, Italy.
- Sunday 29, fourth Sunday of Easter. At 9 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, priestly ordination of deacons from the diocese of Rome.