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 CNS Story:

POPE-FRANCE Jul-7-2008 (690 words) xxxi

Pope to meet with Sarkozy in Paris before traveling to Lourdes

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Spending less than 30 hours in the French capital, Pope Benedict XVI will meet in Paris with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and members of France's Jewish community, and will greet young people before traveling to Lourdes.

The Sept. 12-15 trip to France was designed primarily to mark the 150th anniversary of Mary's apparitions to St. Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes.

In Lourdes Sept. 13-15, the pope will participate in the traditional prayers held at the Marian shrine, including the nighttime candlelight procession and an evening eucharistic procession.

He will celebrate Mass for the general public Sept. 14 and a special Mass Sept. 15 for the sick who come to the shrine seeking healing and strength.

Here is the detailed itinerary for the trip released by the Vatican July 4. All times are local with Eastern Daylight Time in parentheses.

Friday, Sept. 12 (Rome, Paris)

-- 9 a.m. (3 a.m.) Departure from Rome's Leonardo da Vinci International Airport.

-- 11:10 a.m. (5:10 a.m.) Arrival at Orly Airport in Paris.

-- 11:15 a.m. (5:15 a.m.) Official welcome at Orly Airport.

-- 12:25 a.m. (6:25 a.m.) Welcoming ceremony at the Elysee Palace, the official residence of the French president.

-- 12:30 a.m. (6:30 a.m.) Courtesy visit to French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace.

-- 1 p.m. (7 a.m.) Meeting with government authorities at the Elysee Palace. Speech by pope.

-- 5 p.m. (11 a.m.) Brief meeting with representatives of the Jewish community at the apostolic nunciature.

-- 5:30 p.m. (11:30 a.m.) Meeting with representatives of the world of culture at the College des Bernardins. Speech by pope.

-- 7:15 p.m. (1:15 p.m.) Celebration of vespers with priests, religious, seminarians and deacons in Notre Dame Cathedral. Speech by pope.

-- 8:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m.) Greeting to young people gathered outside Notre Dame Cathedral. Remarks by pope.

Saturday, Sept. 13 (Paris, Lourdes)

-- 9:10 a.m. (3:10 a.m.) Brief visit to the French Institute.

-- 10 a.m. (4 a.m.) Celebration of Mass on the lawn of Les Invalides. Homily by pope.

-- 12:20 p.m. (6:30 a.m.) Lunch with bishops from the region around Paris and with members of the papal entourage at the apostolic nunciature.

-- 3:50 p.m. (9:50 a.m.) Departure from the apostolic nunciature.

-- 4:30 p.m. (10:30 a.m.) Departure from Orly Airport.

-- 5:45 p.m. (11:45 a.m.) Arrival at the Tarbes-Lourdes Pyrenees Airport.

-- 6 p.m. (noon) Departure by helicopter from the airport to Antoine Beguere Stadium in Lourdes.

-- 6:20 p.m. (12:20 p.m.) Arrival at the stadium.

-- 6:30 p.m. (12:30 p.m.) Following in the footsteps of St. Bernadette: visit to Sacred Heart Church and to the "cachot," or former jailhouse, where the Soubirous family lived.

-- 7:15 p.m. (1:15 p.m.) Visit to the grotto of the apparitions.

-- 9:30 p.m. (3:30 p.m.) Conclusion of a candlelight Marian procession at the Lourdes shrine.

Sunday, Sept. 14

-- 10 a.m. (4 a.m.) Mass for the 150th anniversary of the apparitions in the Lourdes meadow. Homily by pope. Recitation of the Angelus. Remarks by pope.

-- 12:45 p.m. (6:45 a.m.) Lunch with bishops from France's central Pyrenees region and with cardinals and bishops in the papal entourage at the St. Joseph Hermitage in Lourdes.

-- 5:15 p.m. (11:15 a.m.) Meeting with the bishops of France in the meeting room behind the Church of St. Bernadette. Speech by pope.

-- 6:30 p.m. (12:30 a.m.) Conclusion of a eucharistic procession in the meadow. Speech by pope.

Monday, Sept. 15 (Lourdes, Rome)

-- (No time given) Departure from the residence in the St. Joseph Hermitage.

-- 8:45 a.m. (2:45 a.m.) Visit to the chapel in the hospital at Lourdes.

-- 9:30 a.m. (3:30 a.m.) Mass with the sick in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary at Lourdes. Homily by pope.

-- 12:10 p.m. (6:10 a.m.) Departure by helicopter from the Antoine Beguere Stadium.

-- 12:30 p.m. (6:30 a.m.) Arrival at the Tarbes-Lourdes Pyrenees Airport. Farewell ceremony. Speech by pope.

-- 1 p.m. (7 a.m.) Departure for Rome.

-- 3:15 p.m. (9:15 a.m.) Arrival at Rome's Ciampino airport.


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