September 24, 2009.
As is usual during this time of year, the pope set some time aside for an official visit.
As is usual during this time of year, the pope set some time aside for an official visit. A year ago around this same time he visited France. The year before he went to Austria and in 2006 he visited his native Germany. This year it’s eastern Europe’s turn, as he makes his way to the Czech Republic.Pavel Vosalik
Czech Ambassador to the Holy See“He’s coming to the Czech Republic but as far as I am informed there are thousands of pilgrims coming from the Slovak republic, from Poland, from Hungary from Austria.”
One of the more important parts of the trip is his meeting with representatives of academia. The ambassador says the message the pope is brings to his country is meant for Catholics and non-Catholics alike.Pavel Vosalik
Czech Ambassador to the Holy See“His Holiness is coming to the whole population of the Czech Republic not just the Catholic population. So I do believe that my fellow compatriots will take this opportunity and will go to see his holiness not just to see him but first of all to listen to him and will think about his words.”
On September 28th, Benedict will celebrate the feats of Saint Wenceslaus in Stara Boleslav where the saint was killed.
Pavel Vosalik says the country has already started preparations and everything is ready to go for the historic visit.
Czech Ambassador to the Holy See“We as well started to organize the transport of papamobiles, which seem to be the most visible part of this preparatory work. But it’s the proof for me that it’s the final momentum.”
The ambassador says that ultimately it will be the message that the pope brings to his country that will be the measure of the trip’s success.Pavel Vosalik
Czech Ambassador to the Holy See“The concrete value, the concrete result is the follow up. It’s the question, what the visit will bring to the country, how the country will respond. Not just in terms of hospitality but in terms of how far my nation, my country, my fellow counterparts are ready to learn from his holiness words.”
When the pope arrives in Prague on September 26, it will be the 6th European trip he makes and the 13th as pontiff. John Paul the II visited the country three times during his papacy.