SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain, SEPT. 30, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Spanish prelates are leading their faithful in preparing for Benedict XVI’s arrival on Nov. 6. The official Web site is running and the bells of every church in the Santiago Archdiocese will chime simultaneously when he arrives.
The Web site is available in Spanish, Italian, English and French, and includes the program of the visit, Benedict XVI’s biography, details of other papal trips to Spain and information on the Church in the country.
A welcome message was published today by the Spanish Episcopal Conference at the conclusion of their Permanent Commission meeting.
The prelates invite the Spanish faithful to “be very attentive” to what the Pope tells them, following his speeches, if not in person, then through the media.
“All of us should spiritually take advantage of the visit of the Holy Father, to whom we already extend the warmest welcome,” they wrote.
“We await his visit with faith and excitement,” the prelates added. “We know well that where Peter is, there is the Catholic Church.”
Both the archbishop of Santiago and the archbishop of Barcelona — the two cities Benedict XVI will visit — have also been encouraging their faithful to prepare.
In a letter to the parishes of his archdiocese, Archbishop Julián Barrio Barrio of Santiago recommended: “In the spirit of spiritual preparation, I encourage you to fast on Nov. 5, offering an economic contribution to the diocesan Caritas so that with what is collected, help can be given to the neediest.”
He asked the parishes to offer Masses for the Holy Father’s intentions.
“The Pope’s pilgrimage is a gesture for which we will heartily thank him, accompanying him with our prayer and our presence,” the archbishop affirmed.
And even if the weather is bad, he said, “this must not be an obstacle to our participating personally in this event.”
“Undoubtedly it is an event of grace and a historic opportunity in our archdiocese’s journey to manifest personally our communion with the Successor of Peter and our adherence to him,” Archbishop Barrio Barrio affirmed.
Similarly, Cardinal Lluís Martínez Sistach, archbishop of Barcelona, invited the faithful to participate in greeting the Pope on the streets and at his public events.
“The Holy Father will leave the Vatican to come to visit us,” the cardinal said, and “we must receive him by leaving our home, our villages and our cities.”
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On the Net:
Official Web site: www.visitadelpapa2010.org/
On ZENIT’s Web page:
Itinerary of the papal visit:www.zenit.org/article-30483?l=english