African, European University students to gather with Pope for historic meeting

.- Tomorrow at the Vatican, some 7,000 university students from around Europe and Africa are scheduled to meet with Pope Benedict XVI in an historic call for cooperation between students on the two continents.

College representatives are in Rome for the fourth European Day for Universities,which is being sponsored by the Council of European Bishops' Conferences (CCEE).

Likewise, the vicariate of Rome's office for pastoral care in universities is also helping sponsor the event, the theme of which is "Christian humanism,the path of a new cooperation between Europe and Africa."

The students are slated to participate with the Holy Father in an evening prayer vigil focusing on Mary, Saturday evening. Satellite linkups will allow university students in Madrid, Spain, Nairobi, Kenya, and Dublin,Ireland, to participate in the event from their homelands.

The Pope--scheduled to arrive at 6 p.m.--will lead the recitation of the rosary, in which, further satellite linkups will allow local bishops to lead prayers atthe beginning of each mystery.

These prelates will include: Cardinal Friedrich Wetter, archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany; Archbishop Anthony John Valentine Obinna of Owerri, Nigeria; Bishop Bernard Genoud of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg,Switzerland; Cardinal Bernard Agre, archbishop of Abidjan, Ivory Coast;Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of the archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow, Russia; and Bishop Gheorghi Ivanov Jovcev of Sofia and Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Following the rosary, Pope Benedict will address the delegates and handout copies of his new encyclical “Deus caritas est.”

As is tradition, the Day will conclude with the pilgrimage of the students cross from the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall to Rome's Piazza Navona and the Church of Saint Agnes.

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