February 15, 2013. (Romereports.com) Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi will lead the upcoming spiritual exercises for Benedict XVI. They will be his last as Pope, and will take place from February 17-24. The exercises will be at the Vatican'sRedemptoris Mater Chapel, and will also be with members of the Roman Curia.
The seven days of prayer happen during the first week of Lent. This years prayer will center around the book of Psalms. CARD. GIANFRANCO RAVASI President, Pontifical Council for Culture “I chose the Psalms because they are, on one hand, the expression of a pleading man, and when there are all the sides of man, the one who is suffering, who is fearful, who is happy, the family man, the priest, all the world is within the Psalms.”
Even before announcing his resignation, leading the spiritual exercises to the Pope was a great responsibility for Cardinal Ravasi. Now, there will be an even greater emphasis on each word he chooses.
CARD. GIANFRANCO RAVASI President, Pontifical Council for Culture “I must say that on one hand, it is surely the emotion, the impression for all of my colleagues that participate, it is the first time that a department head will speak to the Pope. But also there is an aspect of familiarity because we are collaborating and the Pope is very attentive and delicate within dialogue, he listens to all his collaborators and it will be an familiar aspect.”
In previous years, the people that have lead the spiritual exercises before Benedict XVI include Carmelite François Marie Lethel, Congolese Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, and Salesian Enrico dal Covolo, rector of the Lateran University in Rome.