VATICAN CITY, OCT. 12, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI held a brief meeting on Sunday with Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs to discuss preparations for the 2011 World Youth Day in Madrid.
Miguel Ángel Moratinos was in the Rome as the head of the official Spanish delegation that attended the canonization of the first two Spanish saints canonized by this Pope: Father Francisco Coll and Brother Rafael Arnáiz.
“Among the topics discussed was the preparation for World Youth Day, which will take place in Madrid in August of 2011, and the meaning of the canonizations for the Spanish Church and society,” the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See reported.
The communiqué added that after the meeting with the Pontiff, the minister had a “lengthy conversation” with Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the secretary for relations with states.
It added, “In an atmosphere of great cordiality, the interlocutors addressed among other topics: the priorities of the Spanish presidency of the European Union beginning in January of 2010, the Alliance of Civilizations, international issues of mutual interest and other points that affect Church-State relations.”
The Holy Father also received the delegations from the native countries of the other newly canonized saints.
Attending on the Belgian side, in honor of St. Damien De Veuster, apostle of the lepers in Molokai, were King Albert II and Queen Paola of his homeland.
As Molokai is in Hawaii, the ambassador of the United States to the Holy See, Miguel Díaz, also attended the ceremony along with one of the state’s senator,s Daniel Kahikina Akaka.
In honor of St. Zygmunt Szczesny Felinski of Poland, the president of the Republic, Lech Kaczynski, was present in the Vatican.
France, which was celebrating the newly canonized St. Jeanne Jugan, was represented by Prime Minister François Fillon.