University students from all over the world will meet with Pope Benedict on Saturday, March 1 to hold a prayer vigil to mark the European Day for Universities.
This year students from the United States and Latin America will also take part in the vigil whose theme will be: "Europe and the Americas together to build a civilization of love".
The university students gathered in the Paul VI Hall will be linked by satellite to other students in various European and American cities: Naples, Italy; Bucharest, Romania; Toledo, Spain; Avignon, France; Minsk, Belarus; Washington DC, U.S.A.; Mexico City, Mexico; Havana, Cuba, Aparecida, Brazil, and Loja, Ecuador.
At 5 p.m. the Holy Father will lead the praying of the Rosary, then address some words to the participants before distributing copies of his Encyclical "Spe salvi" to a number of student representatives.
Also for the occasion of this European Day, a congress is due to be held at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University from 28 February to 1 March on the theme: "Europe and the Americas together towards integral and solidarity development".
The meeting will then continue with three main sessions, the first on: "Europe and the Americas in the global society", the second on: "The role of university formation in facing development challenges", and the third on: "University cultures and models in globalization".
The summit will come to an end on the morning of 1 March with two round table discussions on "The brain drain problem: U.S.A. - Latin America - Europe" and "Experiences of and prospects for university cooperation for integral development and solidarity".