(7 Nov 09 - RV) Pope Benedict XVI’s 17th pastoral journey in Italy takes
him Sunday November 8th to the Northern Italian city of Brescia.
is ready in Brescia, Concesio and Botticino Serafor the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI
Sunday in his first pastoral visit to the land of Paul VI, thirty years after his
Situated at the foot of the Alps, in the province of Lombardy, Brescia
is home to one an a half million people and steep in the Christian tradition counting
among its most famous citizens, Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini who
became Pope Paul VI.
The city’s central square is named after the Pope who
guided the work of the second Vatican Council after the death of John 23rd.
Here on Sunday Pope Benedict will celebrate mass. Organisers estimate a crowd
of thousands and have mounted four giant screens to allow those who are unable to
find space in the small cathedral to follow the Eucharistic celebration and Angelus
prayer. Sunday afternoon Pope Benedict travels the short distance from Brescia
to the village of Concesio in Valtrompia, the birthplace of his predecessor. There
he will inaugurate the Paul VI Institute, a centre for religious studies, in the home
where the Montini Pope was born, awarding its first prize to "Sources Chrétiennes",
a French organisation specialised in the study of Patristics, for its contribution
to the promotion of faith and culture. The last stop on Pope Benedict’s journey
is the small village church of Saint Anthony, where surrounded by the parishioners,
descendents of the land of Paul VI, he will deliver an address.