VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis will be praying or celebrating Mass at all four of Rome’s major basilicas between now and Pentecost, as well as holding four public Masses in St. Peter’s Square.
The Holy See Press Office released on April 3 the places and times the Holy Father will be presiding over the seven public Masses that will be held between now and May 19.
After he was elected pope in 2005, Benedict XVI ordained priests for the Rome Diocese and celebrated Mass for Pentecost.
In 2005, Pope Benedict beatified two women, Sisters Marianne Cope and Ascension Nicol Goñi.
But Pope Francis will be going a step further and canonizing three saints, two of whom are Hispanics, even though canonizations typically take place during the month of October.
The future saints include Colombian Sister Laura di Santa Caterina da Siena Montoya and Upegui and Mexican Sister Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala.
Blessed Antonio Primaldo and Companions, from Italy, will also be canonized in the same Mass on May 12. He was an artist who led 800 men in refusing to convert to Islam during the 840 Turkish invasion of Italy, resulting in their martyrdom.
The new Pope will also preside over Masses or prayers in the four major basilicas of Rome.
On April 7, he will celebrate Mass in the Basilica of St. John Lateran at 5:30pm and officially take possession of the Roman cathedral as the Bishop of Rome.
The following Sunday, April 14, he will preside over Mass at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls at the same time of day.
On April 21, he will ordain priests at a 9:30am Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, and, the next Sunday, he will celebrate the sacrament of confirmation at a 10am Mass in St. Peter’s Square.
The weekend of May 4-5 will be a busy one, with Pope Francis leading the Rosary in the Basilica of St. Mary Major at 6pm on Saturday and then celebrating a Mass for confraternities in St. Peter’s Square at 10am on Sunday.
Pope Francis will finish off his string of public liturgies by celebrating the vigil of Pentecost on May 18 and Mass the next day for the solemnity itself. Both of the liturgies will take place in St. Peter’s Square and will include the participation of the numerous Church movements.