On July 8-9, 2006, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, will visit Valencia, Spain for the 5th World Meeting for Families. The family is extremely important. Without a loving and pious family, children can grow up not knowing God. As the Catechism states, "The family is the original cell of social life. It is the natural society in which husband and wife are called to give themselves in love and in the gift of life" (2207).
We must pray for the Holy Father as he travels to this country that is 94% Catholic. However, the country has gone downhill under the current Prime Minister. Spain has abortion, divorce, and allows gay marriage. A horribly offensive protest by homosexual citizens will occur when he arrives in Spain. (Read more)
Pope Benedict XVI's schedule (CWN):
Saturday, July 8, 2006:
- 9:30 AM - leaves Rome's Fiumicino airport
- 11:30 AM - arrives in Valencia, Spain
- 11:30 AM - Greeting ceremony with speeches by King Juan Carlos and the Holy Father
- Following the Ceremony, he will board the Popemobile for the 10 minute trip into Valencia
- In response to the July 3 metro accident that killed 41 people, Pope Benedict XVI will stop briefly at the Jesus Metro Station for prayer and to lay a floral wreath in memory of the victims
- He will then arrive at the Cathedral where he will be given the keys to the City. In the Cathedral, he will meet with 1,500 priests and religious, leading them in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
- He will then go to the Chapel of the Holy Chalice, where the Lord's cup from the Last Supper, is kept, to give a message to the Spanish bishops
- After leaving there, he will go to the Basilica of Our Lady of the Forsaken to meet with the families affected by the July 3rd accident.
- Late Afternoon -He will travel to "Generalitat" palace for a courtesy call on the Spanish royal couple and then meet with Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
- 8:30 PM - The Holy Father will make his first appearance at the World Meeting of Familes.
Sunday, July 9, 2006:
- Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate Holy Mass to an expected 1 million people including King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia. His homily is expected to discuss family issues, and the Mass will be a special Mass for Families. At the Mass, he will use the actual Holy Grail, which Jesus used at the Last Supper.
- After Mass he will lead the Angelus
- Afterwards, in the sacristy, he will briefly meet with Mariano Rajoy Brey, the head of Spain's political opposition
- He will depart for Rome.