SAN PIO DA PIETRELCINA: ON JUNE 21ST, BENEDICT XVI WILL BE IN SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO

On June 21st 2009, Pope Benedict XVI will go to San Giovanni Rotondo and pray in front of the mortal remains of San Pio da Pietrelcina. The announcement was made last night during the Eucharistic celebration officiated by the archbishop of Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo, mgr. Domenico Umberto D’Ambrosio. The prelate read a release dated December 7th from the prefect of the Papal House, mgr. James Michael Harvey, with the schedule of the Holy Father’s visit attached. "It’s a fine time – said mgr. D’Ambrosio, who is also the delegate of the Holy See for the sanctuary and Opere di San Pio –, for which we have to thank the Lord, thank San Pio and thank Pope Benedict XVI. Now we have to get ready with the preparations". The Pontiff will go to San Giovanni Rotondo by helicopter and will land at the sports field of the town of Puglia. From there, he will go by Popemobile to the sanctuary of "Santa Maria delle Grazie" and will descend to the crypt to pray in front of the Padre Pio’s remains. At 10.15 am, he will officiate a solemn Eucharistic celebration on the parvis of the Church of San Pio da Pietrelcina, where he will also say the Angelus. In the afternoon, he will meet the patients and staff of Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, in front of the monumental entrance to the Hospital, which was unveiled by the Capuchin Friar on May 5th 1956.

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