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Vatican announces Benedict XVI schedule for last days as Pope

2013-02-13

For Friday, he will meet with the president of Romania, and on Saturday with the president of Guatemala, as well as the Italian prime minister. Later that day, he will receive several Italian bishops. 


On Sunday, following the Angelus at St. Peter's Square, the Pope will begin his spiritual exercises, which this year will be lead by Italian Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi. They will last all week until the following Saturday. He will not have any public events throughout the entire week. 

His farewell event will be the general audience on Wednesday, February 27. The Vatican is preparing for thousands of pilgrims to attend, and decided to move the event from Paul VI Hall to St. Peter's Square

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI 
Vatican Spokesperson 
"Wednesday 27 will be the last general audience and it will take place as we had said, at St. Peter's Square, if the weather permits, at 10:30. It will be an important manifestation and we are expecting that many faithful will come.” 

The morning of his last day as Pontiff, he will welcome the cardinals already in Rome at the Clementine Hall to personally bid them farewell. 

Afterward, by 5 p.m. he will board a helicopter for his last trip as Pope. 

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI 
Vatican Spokesperson 
"On the 28, at around five in the evening, the Pope will take off on helicopter to Castel Gandalfo. We already knew he would go to Castel Gandolfo, but now we know the exact time. Afterwards, the Sede Vacante will start at eight o'clock.” 

From that moment, in that simple and scheduled time, the Church will begin a new, unprecedented chapter in its 2000 year history. 


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