Sometimes during the year, so many papal, Vatican and other Church events take place in Rome that it can be hard to keep up.
To help readers keep tabs with what’s going on, I’ve put together a list of the most significant engagements scheduled to take place over the next seven days.
Other unforeseen events may arise, of course, but these are the major ones planned for the moment.
Tuesday, 2nd February - Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the 14th Day of Consecrated Life.
Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to preside over the celebration of Vespers on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord at St. Peter’s basilica at 17.30 CET. At the celebration will be members of religious institutions and societies. The liturgy starts with the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by Sung Vespers and concluding with Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction.
Wednesday, 3rd February:
Pope Benedict XVI’s Weekly General Audience in Paul VI Hall, begins at 10.30.
Thursday, 4th February:
This morning, the Pontifical Council Cor Unum will present the Holy Father’s Message for Lent on the theme “The Righteousness of God Has Been Manifested Through Faith in Jesus Christ.” Presenting the message on the Holy Father’s behalf will be Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, and Prof. Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering, former president of the European Parliament and now president of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
The bishops of Scotland begin their ad limina visit, concluding on Saturday.
In the evening, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, Archbishop of Genoa and president of the Italian bishops’ conference, will preside over a Mass in St. Lateran basilica to mark the 42nd anniversary of the Sant’Egidio Community.
During today and tomorrow, the diocese of Rome will remember, through a series of liturgical and non-liturgical events, the life of Italian priest Don Andrea Santoro who was killed four years ago in Turkey.
Friday, 5th February:
Vatican presentation marking the 25th anniversary of the Pontifical Council for of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers and the 18th World Day of the Sick. Participants include Archbishpo Zigmunt Zymovski, president of the Pontifical Council, and the dicastery’s Secretary and Under-Secretary.
Saturday, 6th February:
Pope Benedict XVI will receive the credentials of the new Ambassador of Guatemala.
Sunday, 7th February:
Pope recites the Angelus, 12pm, St. Peter’s Square.
The Church in Italy celebrates the 32nd National Day of Life.
Monday, 8th February:
The bishops of Romania begin their ad limina visit, concluding on 13th.
The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity will hold a symposium on the theme “recalling the fruits” of 40 years of ecumenical dialogue. A large meeting of Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, Reformed and Methodist representatives, it will be centered on the themes raised in Cardinal Walter Kasper’s new book “Harvesting the Fruits. Basic Aspects of Christian Faith in Ecumenical Dialogue (Continuum 2009)”.
According to the Vatican, the meeting “will especially reflect on “unresolved questions” raised by the Cardinal, confronting issues and methods in order to enhance future dialogue between the communions represented, and allow the dialogue itself to produce fruit in the life of the Church. It is hoped that from the discussions, a text will emerge that can become the basis for the “Guidelines” to be published at a later time in order to provoke a broad discussion and articulate, with new contributions and new impetus, the ways in which bilateral dialogues should proceed in the near future.”
As an extra note: Pope Benedict’s general prayer intention for February is: “That by means of sincere search for the truth scholars and intellectuals may arrive at an understanding of the one true God”.
His mission intention is: “That the Church, aware of her own missionary identity, may strive to follow Christ faithfully and to proclaim His Gospel to all peoples”.