.- The Press Office of the Holy See made public yesterday the official agenda of Pope Benedict XVI’s upcoming trip to Brazil from the 9th – 13th of May, during the period of the 5th General Conference of the Latin American and Caribbean Bishops.
In his first official visit to Latin America, Pope Benedict will land in Sao Paulo on May 9th at 4:30 PM (local time). At the airport, the Holy Father will offer a brief speech during his official welcome ceremony.
Afterwards, he will board a helicopter bound for Sao Paulo’s downtown Campo de Marte airport. From there he will be transported by car to the Monastery of San Benito where he will bless the faithful and spend the night.
On Thursday morning, the 10th of May, the Holy Father will celebrate a private Mass in the monastery’s chapel, before meeting with Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
At midday he will have a short interreligious meeting with members of various Christian confessions and other religions, at the Monastery of San Benito. There he will also have lunch with the leaders of the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops.
In the evening the Pope will travel to the "Paulo Machado de Carvalho" municipal stadium of Pacaembu where, at 6 p.m., he will deliver an address to the young people gathered there.
On Friday, May 11th, Sao Paulo's Campo de Marte field, the Holy Father will preside at a Mass during which he will canonize Blessed Frei Galvao.
At 4 p.m. that afternoon, having bid farewell to his hosts at the monastery of Sao Benito, he will address Brazilian bishops in the Cathedral of Sao Paulo.
Two hours later he will depart by helicopter for Aparecida, where he will stay in the Bom Jesus Seminary.
On Saturday morning, the Holy Father will visit with patients and caretakers at the Fazenda da Esperanca rehab center for drug addicts, in Guaratingueta.
Pope Benedict will then return to the Bom Jesus seminary, where he will have lunch with representatives of the Fifth General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean. That afternoon he is due to go by car to the shrine of Aparecida where, having prayed the Rosary in the basilica, he will meet with priests, religious, seminarians and deacons.
On the morning of May 13th, the Holy Father will preside at the Inaugural Mass of the Fifth General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean, and pray the Regina Coeli. That afternoon he is to pronounce an address during the opening session of the conference.
Just before 7 p.m. the Holy Father will bid farewell to the staff and students of the Bom Jesus seminary, before traveling by helicopter from Apaercida to the international airport of Sao Paulo / Guarulhos. There he will greet authorities and deliver a farewell speech before boarding his aircraft for Rome, where he is due to arrive at 12.45 p.m. on May 14.