Programme Of Pope's Apostolic Trip To Portugal


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VATICAN CITY, 26 MAR 2010 (VIS) - Given below is the programme of Benedict XVI's apostolic trip to Portugal, due to take place from 11 to 14 May to mark the tenth anniversary of the beatification of Jacinta and Francisco, the shepherd children of Fatima.

The Pope will depart from Rome's Fiumicino airport at 8.50 a.m. on Tuesday 11 May, arriving at Portela airport near Lisbon at 11 a.m. Following the welcome ceremony at the "Mosterio dos Jeronimos", he will pay a courtesy visit to Anibal A. Cavaco Silva, president of Portugal, in the "Palacio de Belem". At 6.15 p.m., he is due to celebrate Mass in Lisbon's "Terreiro do Paco".

At 10 a.m. on Wednesday 12 May he will meet with representatives of the world of culture in the Belem cultural centre in Lisbon, while at midday he is scheduled to meet with Jose Socrates, the Portuguese prime minister, at the apostolic nunciature in Lisbon. That afternoon he will travel by helicopter to Fatima where, at 5.30 p.m., he is due to visit the Chapel of the Apparitions. He will then preside at Vespers with priests, religious, seminarians and deacons in the Church of the Blessed Trinity. At 9.30 p.m. he will bless a torchlight procession on the esplanade in front of the Shrine of Fatima, and complete the day by praying the rosary in the Chapel of the Apparitions.

At 10 a.m. on Thursday 13 May the Holy Father will celebrate Mass on the esplanade of the Fatima Shrine following which, at 1 p.m. he will have lunch with Portuguese bishops and the papal entourage. In the afternoon he will meet with representatives of social pastoral care organisations in Fatima's Church of the Blessed Trinity. Later the same evening he is due to meet with the Portuguese episcopate.

On Friday 14 May Benedict XVI will depart by helicopter from Fatima for Porto where, at 10.15 a.m., he will preside at a Eucharistic celebration in the city's Gran Plaza de la Avenida dos Aliados. The farewell ceremony will take place at 1.30. p.m. at the international airport of Porto whence the papal flight is scheduled to depart at 2 p.m., arriving at Rome's Ciampino airport at 6 p.m.