Pope Benedict XVIs 17th pastoral journey in Italy on Nov 8th is to Brescia and Cencesio, the birthplace of Pope Paul VI.

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Brescia, Concesio and Botticino Sera

Everything is ready in Brescia, Concesio and Botticino Sera for the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI Sunday in his first pastoral visit to the land of Paul VI, thirty years after his death.

Situated at the foot of the Alps, in the province of Lombardy, Brescia is home to one an a half million people and steep in the Christian tradition counting among its most famous citizens, Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini who became Pope Paul VI.

The citys central square is named after the Pope who guided the work of the second Vatican Council after the death of John 23rd.

Here on Sunday Pope Benedict will celebrate mass. Organisers estimate a crowd of thousands and have mounted four giant screens to allow those who are unable to find space in the small cathedral to follow the Eucharistic celebration and Angelus prayer.

Sunday afternoon Pope Benedict travels the short distance from Brescia to the village of Concesio in Valtrompia, the birthplace of his predecessor.

There he will inaugurate the Paul VI Institute, a centre for religious studies, in the home where the Montini Pope was born, awarding its first prize to “Sources Chrtiennes”, a French organisation specialised in the study of Patristics, for its contribution to the promotion of faith and culture.

The last stop on Pope Benedicts journey is the small village church of Saint Anthony, where surrounded by the parishioners, descendents of the land of Paul VI, he will deliver an address.

(7 Nov 09 – RV)