ROME, JULY 13, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI will be celebrating Mass this Sunday in the main square of Frascati, one of the most populous municipalities of Castelli Romani.
The visit comes almost 32 years after Blessed John Paul II celebrated Mass in Frascati in September 1980.
The German Pontiff will celebrate the Eucharist in front of the Cathedral Basilica before returning to his summer home in Castel Gandolfo for the recitation of the Angelus.
In an interview with ZENIT, Bishop Raffaello Martinelli of Frascati spoke of the visit as an occasion to “celebrate and live with intensity and renewed commitment the [upcoming] Year of Faith.”
“This historic event will be a stimulus to intensify our prayer and action especially in the field of vocational ministry, in order to obtain from God the great gift of numerous and holy priests, coming in particular from our Tuscolane families, and at the service of our diocesan community,” he added.
The Italian prelate encouraged the faithful within his diocese to commit to three aspects in preparation for the Holy Father’s visit: to rediscover the nature of the mission Christ entrusted to St. Peter and his successors, to get to know better the teachings of Benedict XVI, and to pray incessantly for the Successor of Peter. Bishop Martinelli composed a prayer for the Holy Father that he requested be prayed in all Eucharistic celebrations within the diocese.
The bishop of Frascati also recalled his friendship with the Pontiff for more than 23 years when the then Cardinal Ratzinger was prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. Bishop Martinelli was appointed in 1985 as president of the Commission for the new Catechism of the Catholic Church. Regarding his close collaboration during that time with the Holy Father, the bishop recalled it "as a true and great grace from God to have been able to collaborate with him.”
“I was always able to appreciate in him his great kindness and great serenity, his way of addressing problems with competence and intelligence, and his willingness to listen to everyone. At the same time, I have always admired his capacity to synthesize what he heard and to make decisions that were expected of him given his role, being concerned with the good of the Church and fidelity to the doctrine and the mystery of Christ," the bishop said. "To be able to experience up close these virtues of his was also a gift of God."