December 29, 2010
. Benedict XVI will turn 84 years old in April and it will mark is sixth year as Pope. However, this is not stopping him from planning a year with thousands of travel miles and preparing to publish more of his writings. According to his official agenda, he will make eight trips during 2011 and publish two volumes of his book “Jesus of Nazareth.”
His writings on meditations and reflections on the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus will be hitting the bookshelves on March 13. And in November the third and last part will be released, focusing on the childhood of Jesus.
The Pope will be packing his suitcase at least eight times: he has four trips on the Italian peninsula and four abroad.
He will not have to travel far from Rome to visit Venice, Ancona, Lamezia Terme and the mini-Republic of San Marino. The travel time is short, the furthest trip will take around twelve hours.
The first big international trip will be to Croatia, on June 4 and 5. There the Pope will pray at the tomb of Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac from Zagreb, who was sentenced to 16 years in prison by a communist court.
His next trip will be the highlight of the year, the World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid. In mid-August in the capital of Spain, Benedict XVI will meet with about two million young people. He will also likely meet with the King of Spain Juan Carlos I and the prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.
A few weeks later, the Pope returns to Germany, visiting Berlin, Freiburg and Erfurt. It will be his first state visit to his homeland. A trip during which he will deliver a speech in the Federal Parliament.
The last trip of the year, and perhaps the most significant, will be to Africa. From November 18-20, he will visit Benin for the 150 anniversary of the evangelization of their country. There he will deliver to the African bishops the apostolic exhortation of the Synod of Bishops on Africa of 2009, a pastoral guide for the Church of the continent. It will be his second trip to Africa, after his trip in 2009 to Cameroon and Angola.
The year 2011 should also see the creation of ordinariates to welcome groups of Anglicans who wish to become Catholic. It's considered one of the most important measures of the papacy of Benedict XVI.