BRESCIA, Italy, NOV. 6, 2009 (Zenit.org).- When Benedict XVI visits his predecessor’s birthplace on Sunday, he’ll inaugurate the headquarters for an institute dedicated to him, the sponsor of a prize Pope John Paul II called the Catholic Nobel.
Benedict XVI will be in Brescia this weekend, the city where Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini was born Sept. 26, 1897. Giovanni would grow up to be Pope Paul VI.
While there, Benedict will inaugurate the “elegant architectural complex” that will now house the Paul VI Institute. A communiqué from the organization announced that the new premises house the archive, a library, the Paul VI collection of modern and contemporary art, the auditorium, a study hall and laboratories.
The activities of the Paul VI Institute began shortly after the 1978 death of that Pope.
“Some Catholics of Brescia felt the need to initiate the study of the personality, magisterium and the time in which Pope Montini lived and worked,” the institute explained.
It worked under the patronage of an international promoting committee, peopled by personalities of the ecclesiastical and lay world, among them the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
Among its objectives is the establishment of a documentary archive and a specialized library, the publication of a newsletter and of a series of books, the organization of colloquiums and international study days on specific topics, and the awarding of an international prize.
John Paul II called this award — the Paul VI Prize — the Catholic Nobel. It is given every five years to personalities and institutions active in the field of religiously inspired culture. During Benedict XVI’s visit, he will give this year’s award.
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