No Let-Up In His Schedule
Vatican and papal observers have noted that, notwithstanding his apparent fragility, Pope John Paul II often appears rejuvenated when in the presence of the faithful, even though the event that brings them together might be a taxing liturgical celebration such as those of the week marking his Silver Jubilee, the beatification of Mother Teresa of Calcutta and the consistory for the creation of new cardinals.
Whether events will strain or invigorate the Pope, his calendar for November is barely a beat off the rhythm of October. On his agenda are visits by three heads of State (Presidents Mary McAleese of Ireland and Russia's Vladimir Putin on the 6th and Vladimir Voronin of Moldova on the 28th), four Wednesday general audiences, the recitation of the Angelus on Nov. 1, 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, ad limina visits by bishops from France and Belgium, a beatification on Nov. 9, and two concerts (Nov. 22 and 29).
Nov. 1, 2 and 4 are Vatican holidays. On All Saints Day, as is traditional, the Pope will spend some time in the Vatican Grottoes in private prayer for his deceased predecessors. On All Souls, he will appear at his study window to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.
The 4th is the Holy Father's onomastico or name day: he was named Karol for St. Charles Borromeo).
On Nov. 8 in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope will welcome pilgrims from Croatia — in Rome to repay him for his visit to their country in June, the historic 100th foreign trip of his papacy.
The following day in St. Peter's Basilica, he will beatify Servants of God Juan Nepomuceno Zegri y Moreno, Valentin Paquay, Luigi Maria Monti, Bonifacia Rodriguez Castro and Rosalie Rendo in the 142nd beatification ceremony of his pontificate.
On Nov. 10, there will be an audience for the pilgrims who came to Rome for the beatification. The following morning in the Paul VI Hall, Pope John Paul is scheduled to welcome a pilgrimage from his native Poland.
Nov. 13, in St. Peter's Basilica, the Holy Father will preside at the annual Mass for cardinals and bishops who died during the past year. Two days later he will welcome a pilgrimage from the Italian National Union for the Transportation of the Sick to Lourdes and International Shrines, which is celebrating its centenary.
The first of two scheduled concerts for the Holy Father will take place in the Paul VI Hall Nov. 22, with music performed by the Italian Association of St. Cecilia. A week later a Requiem concert will be performed by the Ukrainian National Orchestra to commemorate the great famine — the Holodomor — of 1932-33.
Though not yet written in stone, the Holy Father will likely have audiences in November for members of the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity who will meet in Rome from Nov. 3 to 8 on ecumenical spirituality; participants in the 18th International Conference of the Pontifical Council for the Health Care Ministry, scheduled to meet Nov. 13-15 on the theme of depression; participants in the Fifth World Congress for the Pastoral Ministry of Refugees and Migrants, organized by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples Nov. 17-22, on the theme “Starting again from Christ: for a Renewed Ministry of Migrants and Refugees,” and for members of the Nov. 20-22 Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council ‘Cor Unum’ who will meet to discuss “The Dimension of Religion in Our Charitable Activity.”
It is also expected that the Pope will grant an audience to participants in the Nov. 15 study seminar organized by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Rome's Gregorian University on “Leo XIII and Peace,” in the centenary year of that Pope's death. The seminar will look at the presence of the Holy See in an international context and on its activity in the service of peace during the reign of Leo XIII, the third longest pontificate in history.
From Nov. 7 to 11 in the Vatican Gardens in the recently restored Casina Pius IV, built in 1561 as a summer home for Pope Pius IV and now the seat of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Academy will hold its annual plenary assembly on the theme “Mind, Brain and Education.” The meeting this year takes on special significance as the Academy commemorates its 400th anniversary. It is expected that John Paul will receive members of the Academy during this plenary session.
Joan Lewis works for Vatican Information Service.