Benedict XVI Asks for Prayers for Trip

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 17, 2005 ( Benedict XVI asked believers worldwide to support him with their prayers on his first international apostolic pilgrimage, to World Youth Day in Germany.

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“It is an important ecclesial appointment which we all hope will bring abundant spiritual fruits for the whole Church, which places much hope in the commitment and evangelical testimony of young people,” the Pope told participants at today’s general audience at the papal summer residence.

The Holy Father is expected to meet with some 800,000 youths on Sunday, the closing day of the event. He plans to arrive in Cologne on Thursday.

Addressing pilgrims gathered in the patio of the papal residence of Castel Gandolfo, Benedict XVI said: “I ask you all to accompany me with your prayer on the apostolic pilgrimage which I will begin tomorrow to participate in the World Youth Day in Cologne.”

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