Agenda Revealed for Pope's San Marino Trip

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 24, 2011 ( This June, Benedict XVI will travel to one of the world’s smallest states, San Marino, where he will venerate the relics of the saint who gave the republic its name.

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A program for the Pope’s June 19 trip was released today.

San Marino is an enclave of 61 square kilometers (23 square miles) in central Italy. It has a population of about 31,000. According to tradition, San Marino is the world’s oldest republic, founded by St. Marinus, who sought refuge on Mount Titan (one of the seven mountains of present-day San Marino) fleeing the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian.

For many centuries, the rather inaccessible enclave sheltered a community of monks. It is governed by two regent captains.

Pope John Paul II visited San Marino and Rimini on Aug. 29, 1982.

On June 19, Benedict XVI will travel directly by helicopter to the republic. In Serravalle, he will celebrate Mass and pray the midday Angelus. Later, he will dine with organizers of the visit, as well as with Bishop Luigi Negri and members of the John Paul II International Foundation. The Pope will receive an official welcome by the two regent captains, and he will meet with members of the government and diplomatic corps. Finally, the Holy Father will go to the cathedral where he will venerate the relics of St. Marinus.

At 6:30 p.m. the papal entourage will leave San Marino and enter Italian territory, to continue the pastoral visit. The Pope will go to Pennabili for a meeting with youth before his return to the Vatican that evening.

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