Pope Looks Forward to Czech Republic Trip

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 20, 2009 (Zenit.org).- As Benedict XVI prepares to travel to the Czech Republic this week, he is asking the faithful to accompany him with their prayers.

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Speaking today after praying the Angelus at the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, the Pope noted that his three-day trip to the Eastern European country will begin Saturday.

“I will stay in Prague, the capital, but I will also travel to Brno, in Moravia, and to Stará Boleslav, the place where the nation’s principal patron, of St. Wenceslas’, was martyred,” he said in summarizing his itinerary.

“The Czech Republic is geographically and historically located in the heart of Europe,” the Pontiff continued, “and after having passed through the dramas of the last century, she needs, like the rest of the European continent, reasons for faith and hope.”

“Following in the footsteps of my beloved predecessor John Paul II, who visited that country three times, I too will pay homage to the ancient and recent heroic witnesses to the Gospel, and I will encourage everyone to move forward in charity and in truth,” Benedict XVI said.

He added, “I thank all those who will accompany me with prayer on this trip. May the Lord bless it and make it fruitful.”

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