Benedict XVI looking forward to Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, pallium conferral


After Sunday's Angelus prayer, besides recalling the beatification of Lebanese Maronite brother Estephan Nehme, the Holy Father called attention to the observance of the Day of Charity for the Pope and this week's celebration of the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.

During his English-language greeting, the Holy Father said he hopes that through the pilgrims prayers, Tuesday's celebration of "Rome's feast-day" will be an occasion for "all who come on pilgrimage to Rome (to) be renewed and strengthened in faith, hope and love."

He will begin the celebration of the feast on Monday evening when he presides over First Vespers at the Roman Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls, where St. Paul's tomb lies. On the actual feast day, Benedict XVI will celebrate Mass at St. Peter's for the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, at which time he will also confer the pallium on the Catholic Church's 38 new metropolitan archbishops.

In his first homily as Pope on April 24, 2005, Pope Benedict described the woven band of pure lamb's wool which is placed on the archbishops' shoulders as a symbol of the lost, sick or weak sheep the shepherd takes on his back. It is a symbol of his mission, he explained on that occasion.

Among those receiving the honor are the new Archbishop of Miami Thomas Wenski, Archbishop of Milwaukee Jerome Listecki and Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati. Among many others from across the globe, Belgian Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, Andre-Joseph Leonard, will also be in Rome for the June 29 ceremony.

After the Angelus, the Pope also noted the Day of the Pope's Charity, which is celebrated in Italy and other countries on Sunday. He offered his gratitude to all who with prayer and offerings “support the apostolic and charitable activity of the Successor of Peter in favor of the Universal Church and so many brothers and sisters, near and far."

On Saturday, he met with and thanked members of the Circle of St. Peter for their charitable donations to the poor of the world and asked them to look to St. Jean Vianney as a model for their works.

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