Official Program for Pope's Portugal Trip

4-Day Journey Marks Beatification Anniversary

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 26, 2010 ( The Vatican released the official program for Benedict XVI’s May 11-14 trip to Portugal, which will coincide with the 10th anniversary of the beatification of the Fatima visionaries.

The program was released by the Vatican on Thursday.

The Pope will leave Rome just before 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 11, and arrive in Lisbon about two hours later. After a welcome ceremony, he will pay a courtesy visit to the president of Portugal.

At 6.15 p.m., he is due to celebrate Mass in Lisbon’s Terreiro do Paco.

The next day, he will have a 10 a.m. meeting with representatives of the world of culture, followed by a noon meeting with the Portuguese prime minister.

That afternoon, he will travel by helicopter to Fatima, where, at 5.30 p.m., he is due to visit the Chapel of the Apparitions. He will then preside at vespers with priests, religious, seminarians and deacons in the Church of the Blessed Trinity.

That night he will bless a torchlight procession on the esplanade in front of the Fatima shrine, and end the day with the rosary in the Chapel of the Apparitions.

The next morning, May 13, the Holy Father will celebrate a 10 a.m. Mass in Fatima and then have lunch there with the nation’s bishops. That day is the 10th anniversary of the beatification of Francisco and Jacinta Marto, the young shepherds who, together with their cousin, Lúcia dos Santos, saw Our Lady repeatedly in 1917.

That afternoon the Pope will meet with representatives of charity organizations and then with the Portuguese episcopate.

On Friday, May 14, the Pontiff will leave Fatima for Porto, where he will celebrate a 10:15 Mass in the city’s Gran Plaza de la Avenida dos Aliados.

A farewell ceremony early that afternoon will conclude the trip, and the Pope is expected to arrive in Rome at 6 p.m.

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