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Last Update: 6/8/2007 6:57 AM
2/9/2007 2:35 AM
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May 9-14, 2007




Wednesday, May 9
Fiumicino (Rome)

09.00 Departure from Leonardo da Vinci international airport
for São Paulo/Guarulhos.


Guarulhos (São Paulo)

16.30 Arrival at the international airport of São Paulo/Guarulhos.
- Address by the Holy Father

17.30 Transfer by helicopter from São Paulo/Guarulhos
to the airport of Campo di Marte [old airport of São Paulo].

18.00 Arrival at Campo de Marte.
Greetings from local officials.

18.10 Travel by Popemobile
to the Monastery of St. Benedict in central São Paulo.

18.45 Arrival at the Monastery,
where he will be staying till May 11.
- Greeting and blessing the faithful
from the balcony of the Monastery.

Thursday, May 10

08.00 Holy Mass, private, at the chapel of the Monastery.

10.30 Travel by car to the Palacio dos Bandeirantes.

at Palacio dos Bandeirantes.

12.00 Travel by car back to the Monastery.

12.30 Arrival at the Monastery.
Meeting with representatives of
other Christian confessions and religions.

13.15 Lunch at the Monastery with the Presidium
of the Brazilian episcopal conference
and members of the papal entourage.

17.30 TraveL by car from the Monastery
to the municipal stadium of Pacaembu i
n the center of the city.

17.50 Arrival at Pacaembu stadium

18.00 MEETING WITH THE YOUTH at Pacaembu stadium
- Address by the Holy Father.

20.00 Travel by car from Pacaembu
back to the Monastery.

20.30 Arrival at the Monastery.

Friday, May 11

08.30 Travel by car from the Monastery to Campo de Marte.

09.00 Arrival at Campo de Marte.
Tour by Popemobile among the faithful assembled for Mass.

09.15 Arrive at the Sacristy set up under the altar
built for the Mass.

- Homily.

11.45 Return to Sacristy.

12.00 Travel by car from Campo de Marte
back to the Monastery.

12.15 Arrive at the Monastery.

15.40 The Pope takes his leave from the Monastery.

15.45 Travel by Popemobile
to the Cathedral of Sé in São Paulo.

- Address by the Holy Father.

17.15 Travel by Popemobile
from the Cahedral to Campo de Marte

17.45 Arrival at Campo de Marte airport.
Send-off by local officials.

18.00 Departure by helicopter for Aparecida.


19.00 Arrival at the heliport of
the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Aparecida
Greeting by local officials.

Travel by Popemobile to the "Bom Jesús" Seminary
where he will be staying in Aparecida.

19.30 Arrival at the Seminary

Saturday, May 12

08.00 Holy Mass, private, at the chapel of the Seminary.

09.30 Travel by car from the Seminary
to the Fazenda da Esperança in Guaratinguetá,
the city of which Apareida was once part.


10.30 Arrival at the alla Fazenda da Esperança,
a national rehabilitation center for drug addicts.
- Greeting by the Holy Father.

- Address by the Holy Father

11.45 Travel by car from Guaratingueta
back to the Seminary in Aparecida.


12.45 Arrival at the Bom Jesús Seminary.
Lunch with the Presidium of the V General Conference of CELAM
and members of the papal entourage, at the Seminary.

17.45 Travel by Popemobile from the Seminary
to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Aparecida.

18.00 Arrival at the Sanctuary.
AND DEACONS of Brazil, in the Basilica.

19.30 Travel by car back to the Seminary.

19.45 Arrival at the Seminary.

Sunday, May 13

09.15 Travel by Popemobile to the Sanctuary of Aparecida.

09.30 Arrival at the Sanctuary.
Tour by Popemboile among the faithful assembled for Mass.

09.45 Arrival at the Sacristy set up next to the altar
in front of the main entrance to the Sanctuary.

10.00 HOLY MASS to inaugurate the V General Conference
of Latin American and Caribbean Bishops,
on the esplanade in front of the Basilica.
- Homily

- Words by the Holy Father

12.15 Return to the Sacristy.

12.30 Travel by car back to the Seminary.

12.45 Arrival at the Seminary.

15.45 Travel by car from the Seminary
to the Conference Center of the Sanctuary.

16.00 Arrival at the Conference Center.
- Address by the Holy Father

17.30 Travel by car from the Cofnernce Center
back to the Seminary.

17.40 Arrival at the Seminary.

18.20 The Pope takes his leave from the Bom Jesús Seminary.

18.30 Travel by car from the Seminary
to the heliport of the Sanctuary.

18.40 Arrival at the heliport.
Send-off by local officials.

18.50 Departure by helicopter
for the international airport of São Paulo/Guarulhos.

Guarulhos (São Paulo)

19.40 Arrival at the international airport.
- Address by the Holy Father.

20.15 Departure for Rome (Ciampino).

Monday, May 14


12.45 Arrival at Rome/Ciampino airport.

Time differences:

São Paulo e Aparecida: GMT -3

A map of Brazil, locating it on the South American continent.
Below, a map showing the state of Sao Paolo and rhe relative
locations of the city of Sao Paolo, Aparecida, Guaratingueta
and Rio de Janeiro, going north-northeast from Sao Paolo.
Aparecida, site of the Sanctuary of Our Lady Aparecida,
Patroness of Brazil, is hosting the fifth general conference
of the bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, which Pope
Benedict will open on May 13. It is 168 km northeast of São
Paolo and 240 km southwest of Rio de Janeiro, along the inland
highway that connects Brazil's two mega-cities.

There are current two official websites about the Pope's visit scheduled for May 9-13.

First, the website of the Bishops Conference of Latin America and the Caribbean
(CELAM, from the acronym of its Spanish name)
with the following banner and logo

And then, a site opened by the Archdiocese of Sao Paolo which is hosting the Pope
for his first three days in Brazil,
with the following banner:

Both sites are so far only unilingual - the bishops' site is in Spanish because as huge
as Brazil is, Spanish is the language of the rest of Latin America, and the Sao Paolo site
is, of course, in Portuguese. It would really be more user-friendly to the rest
of the world if they had an English section.

Other sites are:
The main CELAM site (Spanish)-

The Brazilian bishops conference (Portuguese) -

The main site of the Archdiocese of Sao Paolo (Portuguese):

The Benedictine monastery in Sao Paolo (Portuguese):

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 14/04/2007 4.25]

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 09/05/2007 9.33]

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 5/29/2008 12:30 AM]
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2/9/2007 2:38 AM
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Appropriately, Benedict XVI will be staying at a Benedictine monastery the first three days
of his visit to Brazil. Here is a translation of a story from O JORNAL DO SAO PAOLO carried on
the Papal visit site of the Archdiocese of Sao Paolo

Benedictine monastery
will host the Pope

A Benedictine monastery in the center of Sao Paolo will host Benedict XVI on May 9-11,
when the Supreme Pontiff will be in Sao Paolo before proceeding to Aparecida where he
will open the V General Conference of Latin American and Caribbean Bishops.

The abbey of Our Lady of the Assumption has renovated some space to give the Pope
an 'apartment' that will be 38 square meters large divided into three areas.

When the Pope makes apostolic trips outside the Vatican, he usually stays in the residence
of the Apostolic Nunciature, located in the capital of the host country.

When he visits a diocese which is outside the capital, then he usually stays in the bishop's
(or archbishop's) residence, usually in the Bishop's Palace. This would be the case with
his visit to Sao Paolo.

However, the Archdiocese does not have an Episcopal Palace, and the archbishop's residence
is not adaptable to any renovation that would be necessary to host the Pope.

Therefore, before he left his post as Archbishop of Sao Paolo, Cardinal Claudio Hummes,
who has become the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, requested Abbot Mathias
Tolentino Braga if the Benedictine monks could host the Pope.

"Our property is beautiful, over a century old, and part of the country's historic patrimony,"
said Dom Mathias to the team from O Jornal do Sao Paolo, to whom he showed the progress
of the renovation.

"When dom Claudio asked us, he said to be ready for 5 days, because at that time,
there was no definite program yet," he said, adding that the Pope will almost certainly
have at least two official events in the monastery itself. The abbey will also host 12
other members of the Papal entourage.

"All the rooms are on the first floor," he said. "In his apartment, the Pope will
have an office with Internet access, and a small meeting room. The apartment will be
decorated with sacred art from the Monastery's collection."

A recreation room for the monks will be transformed into a refectory to facilitate
meals for the Pope's entourage. The adjoining cloister gardens are being improved,"
dom Mathias explained.

They will also provide the Pope with a grand piano in an adjoining salon to
the papal apartment.

"The salon opens on to the street, with a balcony from which the Pope can address
the faithful if he wishes," he said. "We don't know if he plans to do that, but in any
case, we have the place ready."

This is presumably a private chapel that will be available
for the private Mass the Pope says to begin his day.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 13/02/2007 7.58]

2/9/2007 4:28 AM
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Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: Brasil or República Federativa do Brasil, is the largest and most populous country in South America; and the fifth largest in the world in both area and population.

Although Brazil's largest and best-known cities are Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo, the capital of Brazil is Brasilia, a 'new city' characterized by ultra-modern architecture. Oscar Niemeyer was the chief architect of most of the public buildings, including the Brazilian National Congress pictured here. The city plan was based on the ideas of Le Corbusier. A tribute to the architectural excellence of the city is that UNESCO named it a World Heritage Site in 1987. Amazingly, Brasília was built in 41 months, from 1956 to April 21, 1960 when it was officially inaugurated. Rio de Janeiro was the capital before then. It is located inland and is the apex of a triangle that has Sao Paolo and Rio as the base points .

Spanning a vast area between central South America and the Atlantic Ocean, Brazil is the easternmost country of America and borders every other South American country other than Ecuador and Chile (viz. Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and the French department of French Guiana).

Brazil was colonized by Portugal and it is the only Portuguese-speaking country in the Americas. It is a multiracial country with a population composed of European, Amerindian, African and Asian elements. It has the largest Roman Catholic population in the world.

Brazil is a federation consisting of twenty-six states (estados) and
one federal district (Distrito Federal), making a total of 27 "federate units".

Brazil is characterized by the extensive low-lying Amazon Rainforest in the north and a more open terrain of hills and low mountains to the south — home to most of the Brazilian population and its agricultural base.

Major rivers include the Amazon, the largest river in the world in flowing water volume, and the second-longest in the world; the Paraná and its major tributary, the Iguaçu River, where the impressive Iguaçu falls are located.

The Amazon rainforest lies mostly in Brazil but also covers parts
of other countries north of Brazil. The yellow line designates
the expanse of the forest; the black lines show national boundaries.
(NASA photograph)

NASA photograph of the mighty Amazon River flowing through the Amazon rain forest

According to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Brazil has the ninth largest economy in the world at Purchasing Power Parity and eleventh largest at market exchange rates. Brazil has a diversified middle income economy with wide variations in development levels.

Major export products include aircraft, coffee, vehicles, soybean, iron ore, orange juice, steel, textiles, footwear, corned beef and electrical equipment.

Most large industry is agglomerated in the South and South-East. The North-East is the poorest region of Brazil, but it is beginning to attract new investment.

The actual President of Brazil is Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula). He was re-elected on 29 October 2006, extending his position as President of Brazil until the end of 2010.

Brazil's population is very diverse, comprising many races and ethnic groups. In general, Brazilians are descended from four sources of migration:

Amerindians, Brazil's indigenous population, descended from human groups that migrated from Siberia across the Bering Strait around 9000 BC.

Portuguese colonists and settlers, arriving from 1500 onward.
African slaves brought to the country from 1530 until the end of the slave trade in 1850.

The 2000 official census found Brazil to have a population of 188 million, consisting of:
53.7% white
38.5% pardo or mulatto
6.2% black
0.5% Asian
0.4% Amerindian
0.7% unspecified

According to the same census -
73.9% are Roman Catholics (about 125 million)
15.4% are Protestants (about than 26 million)
7.4% consider themselves agnostics, atheists or without a religion (about 12 million)
1.3% are followers of Spiritism, based on the Allan Kardec's doctrine (about 2.2 million).
0.3% are followers of African traditional religions such as Candomblé and Umbanda.
1.7% are members of other religions. Some of these are Jehovah's Witnesses (1,100,000) Buddhism (215,000), Latter-day Saints (200,000 followers), Judaism (87,000), and Islam (27,000)
Some practice a mixture of different religions, such as Catholicism, Candomblé, and indigenous American religion combined.

The core culture of Brazil is rooted in the culture of Portugal. The Portuguese colonista and immigrants brought the Roman Catholic faith, the Portuguese language and many traditions and customs that still influence the modern-day Brazilian culture.

As a multiracial country, its culture also absorbed other influences. The Amerindian peoples influenced Brazil's language and cuisine and the Africans, brought as slaves, largely influenced Brazil's music, dance, cuisine, religion and language.

The Yoruba traditions, from nowadays Southwest Nigeria had made its way strongly into Afro-Brazilian religion and into Brazilian religiousness as a whole. Ancient Yoruba Orishas )(gods) like Shango and Oxum are largely worshipped in Brazil, while the Samba and the Capoeira (musical rhythm and martial art, respectively) were originally contributions from the Bantu peoples from Angola.

Italian, German and other European immigrants came in large numbers and their influences are felt closer to the Southeast and South of Brazil.

A view of Sao Paolo, Brazil's financial capital, with a population of 8 million.

The beaches of Rio de Janeiro are well-known worldwide. They are unusually deep (several hundred meters
from street to shore) and go on for miles and miles. Nothing comparable anywhere in the world!

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 13/02/2007 20.34]

2/9/2007 7:45 AM
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I used the Wikipedia entry for the general information part of this, and then translated some items found on the Sanctuary website. It is a very frustrating site because it does not provide regular-size pictures of the thumbnails that it uses to illustrate its items. I had to download two short PowerPoint presentations to be able to get a slightly bigger image of the Virgin and the two small pictures of the interior (on the PowerPoint presentation, they appear on one slide with a third vertical picture, that is why they are small. I could not copy the largest image there was of the Virgin because it was a composite of three images - the basic statue, the cloak, and the crown - that fit together like a cutout figure that you dress!

Aparecida is a Brazilian city and municipality in the state of São Paulo. It is located in the fertile valley of the River Paraíba do Sul on the southern (right) bank. The population in 2004 was about 36,000.

It is almost equidistant from Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo, and lies beside the inland highway that connects the two cities.

The city is home to the sanctuary of Our Lady of Aparecida, the patron saint of Brazil, declared so by Pope Pius XI in 1929. The name of the city is in homage to Our Lady of Conceição Aparecida.

Once part of the municipality of Guaratinguetá, it was emancipated in 1928. It now depends exclusively on tourism generated by the cult surrounding the statue of the Virgin. Aparecida receives more than 8 million tourists a year making it the most popular religious pilgrimage site in Latin America.

Sculpture in front of the Sanctuary commemorates the three fishermen who found the statue..

These pilgrims come to visit the Basilica containing the statue of Our Lady of Aparecida. This statue, thought to have been found in the Paraíba River in October 1717, is made of clay and measures 40 centimenters in height.

The dark colour was produced by the years of exposure to candles and lamps around the altar. In 1978
it was attacked and reduced to some 200 fragments which were meticulously put back together by specialists
from the Museum of Sacred Art of São Paulo.

A visit to the new Basilica is a must if only for the vastness of its dimensions. It can hold 75,000 persons.
(In comparison, St. Peter's can accommodate 8,000 at most.)

In effect, there are 4 naves radiating from a central altar under a dome that is 78 meters
(about 250 feet) in diameter and 70 meters (225 feet) high

The ex-voto room is especially interesting as it is lined from floor to ceiling with every possible wax r
epresentation of the human body conceivable. A room filled with pictures showing how people were cured or
survived accidents with the Virgin's help is also worth seeing.

The city has other attractions besides the religious buildings such as a theme park, aquarium, and museums.

Among the local events are the Festa de Nossa Senhora Aparecida, on 12 October, which attracts more than
100,000 faithful, and the Festa de São Benedito (St. Benedict), which has performances by several folkloric groups.

The name "Aparecida" has become so important in Brazilian culture that many other towns have taken on the
same name. The given name "Aparecida" is also very popular for girls in Brazil.

The story of the image

In October 1717, Dom Pedro de Almedida, Count of Assumar, passed through the area of Guarantinqueta, a small city in the Paraiba river valley. The people there decided to hold a feast in his honour, and though it was not fishing season, the men went to the waters to fish for the feast.

Three of the fishermen, Domingos Garcia, Joco Alves, and Felipe Pedroso, prayed to the Immaculate Conception, and asked God's help. However, after several hours they were ready to give up.

Joco cast his net once more near the Port of Itaguagu, but instead of fish, he hauled in the body of a statue. The three cast their net again, and brought up the statue's head. After cleaning the statue they found that it was Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.

Naming their find Our Lady Aparecida, they wrapped it in cloth and continued to fish; now their nets were full.

While we do not know why the statue was at the bottom of the river, we do know who made it. Frei Agostinho de Jesus, a carioca monk from Sao Paulo known for his sculpture. The image was less than three feet tall, was made around 1650, and must have been underwater for years.

In 1904, when the image was crowned, the present stiff cloak of dark blue gold-embroidered cloth was added, as well as the crown donated by Princess Isabel of Brazil in 1884. The crown seen in the picture below was replaced in 2004 on the centenary of the coronation with the crown seen in the larger image above.

Pope Pius XII proclaimed her principal patroness of Brazil in 1930. In 1967, on the 250th anniversary of her being found, Pope Paul VI honored the Sanctuary with a Golden Rose which is now found in the niche with the statue.

[Popes used to send a Golden Rose to important persons, usually kings and queens, for service to the Church, to honor a city , or to distinguish important santuaries of the faith. Pope John Paul II gave a Golden Rose to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima.]

It was vandalized by being broken into some 200 fragments just prior to a visit by Pope John Paul II, but a group of dedicated artists and artisans carefully pieced it together again.

The old Sanctuary, built in 1884, was designated a Basilica in 1904 at the time the statue was crowned. The new Basilica was built to accommodate the phenomenal influx of pilgrims and was inaugurated by John Paul II in 1980.

Assistance Center for Pilgrims

The Center was inaugurated in May 1998 adjacent to the New Sanctuary. It occupies 46,350 square meters (more than four and a half hectares), with 22 food courts covering an area of almost 1-1/2 hectares, spread over each of the four wings; and 330 shops. It also has an aquarium and an entertainment center.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 13/02/2007 8.02]

2/9/2007 8:54 AM
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We know Cardinal Ratzinger was in Rio de Janeiro in the late 80s when he was investigating the case aginst Leonardo Boff for anti-Magisterium statements and teaching. Could he have visited Aparecida then?

It's almost the stuff of legend how he surprised the Latin American bishops at the Bishops Synod in October 2005 by suggesting Aparecida as the site for their General Conference this year.

When CELAM first started planning the event - which takes place roughly every 10 years - they had planned to hold it in Ecuador. But when it appeared that John Paul II - who had opened both of the previous two conferences - would probably be unable to travel that far by 2007, they got his approval to hold it in Rome instead.

Then John Paul II died. At the Bishops Synod, the Latin American bishops asked the new Pope whether they should proceed with planning for a Rome conference, or should they switch back to Quito, Ecuador.

That was when Benedict gave the surprising answer, "Why not at teh Shrine of Our Lady in Aparecida? And I'll be there."

The Pope's decision has been widely interpreted as a move to help revive Catholicism in Brazil, which has been most vulnerable to the onslaught of Protestant sects, especially evangelicals and charismatics.

Two facts I learned about Aparecida today may help explain why Benedict XVI feels associated with Aparecida. First, the Redemptorist Fathers who came to Brazil in the 19th century to take care of the Marian sanctuary were from Germany. (Redemptorists continue to be in charge, but they are probably all Brazilian by now). Second is that for some reason, the feast of St. Benedict is Aparecida's other major religious feast, besides the feast of their Mary on October 12. He would have been well aware of both facts.

And as a lifelong devotee of the Madonna of Altoetting (are Redemptorists in charge of the Altoetting sanctuary, by any chance?), it is not improbable that he found time to visit Aparecida - a three-hour drive away - when he went to Rio in the late 80s to research Boff.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 09/02/2007 9.14]

2/9/2007 4:48 PM
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Draft schedule of the Voyage to Brazil
Hello everyone,

Well, I do not know whether the Holy Father has been to Aparecida before, but here is an item from Zenit which talks about the draft schedule of the visit, so I would like to post it here. I hope this has not been posted before!!!

Papal Schedule in Brazil Finalized

Will Meet Youth and Open General Conference of Latin American Episcopate

BRASILIA, Brazil, FEB. 4, 2007 ( The Brazilian bishops' conference has announced the finalized schedule for Benedict XVI's trip to that country in May.

There, the Holy Father will open the 5th General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America.

According to Cardinal Geraldo Majella Agnelo, archbishop of São Salvador da Bahia, the Bishop of Rome will arrive in São Paulo on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 9.

The next day, he will attend an afternoon meeting with young people in the Pacaembu Stadium.

On May 11 in the morning, the Pope will preside over Mass with the country's bishops in Campo de Marte, and in the afternoon he will meet with the prelates in the cathedral of São Paulo.

The Pontiff will then travel to the southeastern city of Aparecida.

On Saturday, May 12, in the morning, he will visit a "Fazenda da Esperanca" (Farm of Hope) in Guaratingueta. These "fazendas" are centers for the rehabilitation of drug addicts and are present in several countries. The initiative began in the Brazilian state of São Paulo.

At 6 p.m. on the same day, Benedict XVI will pray the rosary with the faithful in the Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida.

At 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 13, the Pontiff will preside at Mass and at 4 p.m. will open the working sessions of the 5th General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America.

That night, he will travel to Guarulhos International Airport for his return trip to Rome.

The bishops who will participate in the conference -- who represent the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, the United States, Spain and Portugal -- pastor almost half of the world's Catholics.

One objective of the conference is to address the phenomenon of Latin American faithful who abandon Catholicism.

To date, four general conferences have been held in Latin America: in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1955; in Medellin, Colombia, in 1968; in Puebla, Mexico, in 1979; and in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic, in 1992.
2/9/2007 5:37 PM
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Which language will he use in Brazil ?????
Hello everyone,

here is a translation from the Portuguese:

8 February 2007

Pope Benedict XVI will pray in Portuguese in Brazil

Pope Benedict XVI will follow the predecessor, John Paul II, and will pray in Portuguese during the visit to Brazil which will take place between 9 and 13 of May of this year.

The language will be used at least in the meeting that he will have with young people in the Stadium of the Pacaembu, in the afternoon of the 10th of May, in São Paulo, and the open air masses in the morning of the 11th, in the capital São Paulo and on the 13th, in Aparecida (SP).

It is still not certain if the Pope will use the language in his opening message of 5th Conference to the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean, that will take place in Aparecida and which will be opened by Benedict XVI on the 13th of May, in the afternoon. Most of the bishops that will participate of this meeting speak Spanish.

The Pope will also meet Brazilian President Lula on the 10th of May in the morning. In this meeting, however, he would use an interpreter. Benedict XVI manages to read and understand Portuguese, but he does not speak it with fluency.

For precisely this reason, he would have to use a basic text, written by the Pope himself during the masses in Brazil. According to information gathered by “Folha de São Paulo” (newspaper), Benedict XVI attaches importance to writing his own texts. John Paul II used to read out documents prepared by the Roman Curia.

But, despite the difficulty, the Pope has praise for the Portuguese language. He usually greets groups from Brazil and Portugal that come to the Vatican in Portuguese and tries to pronounce the words correctly.

The Jesuit priest Mário of France Miranda, who between 1992 and 2003 participated in the Holy Sees International the Theological Commission which was then presided over by the current Pope, affirms that Benedict XVI was the only one in the Holy See who pronounced his name correctly. "The Pope made an effort to pronounce perfectly the language and he even managed to pronounce also the ç (c cedilha) that is also used in France, which is very difficult for someone who has German as first language", he recounts.

Beyond the German, his first language, Benedict XVI is fluent in Italian (the language of the Roman Curia), English, French, Latin and Spanish. He communicates also in Polish and Greek. In the only visit that he made so far to a country whose language he does not dominate, Turkey, the Pope prayed in Latin and Greek.


Until the 60’s, in the whole world priests had to say the masses in Latin. But with Vatican II (1962-1965) the Holy See allowed the use of national languages in the celebrations. It was a signal of that the church intended to establish a better dialogue not only with the faithful but also with the other cultures.

The celebration in vernacular language was one of the main flags of the Protestant Reformation, in the 16th century when it broke with the Catholicism. One of the measures by Martin Luther - who was the father of the reform - was to defy the Pope and to translate the Bible into German, his native language.

John Paul II gladly followed the permission given for the use of vernacular language which the conciliates had given. During the three trips he made to Brazil (1980, 1991 and 1997), he used Portuguese. When visiting a country, he tried to read at least one message in the national language.


[Modificato da @Andrea M.@ 09/02/2007 18.37]

2/9/2007 6:19 PM
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Portuguese is a very difficult language to speak....You can, read, write, even understand when people speak in a very slow way,) speak it is very hard.
So the Pope will have a to do an enormous effort to speak in Brazilian Portuguese.

[Modificato da @Nessuna@ 09/02/2007 18.20]

2/9/2007 6:41 PM
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Brazilian Portuguese
Hi Nessuna,

Yes, he would have to make an effort to speak the language. But with the Holy Father being quite polyglot, I am sure he will do just fine ...

I think we will be surprised once he gets there ...

2/10/2007 2:17 AM
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The Archdiocese of Sao Paolo site today, citing reports from the newwspaper O Sao Paolo:


Mons. Marini, liturgical master of ceremonies for the Pope, is in Sao Paolo Feb. 9-10 with Mons. Vigano from the Vatican, to visit the sites of events planned for the Holy DFather's visit in May.

Today they visited both the Campo do Marte where Mass will be held and the Pacaembu Stadium, where the Pope will have an encounter with young people. They have proposed modifications in both places.

Marini was asked by journalists whether Blessed Frei Galvao would be canonized in Brazil during the Pope's visit. He answered that "there is a great possibility he will be canonized during the Mass at Campo de Marte." He said this would be confirmed after a consistory called by the Pope for February 23. [I know that's the day after the Feast of the Chair of Peter, but a consistory on that day? If the press had thought he meant a cardinals' consistory, they would have asked him more about it and made it the headline!]

The monsignors were also scheduled to visit the Cathedral where the Pope will meet with Brazilian bishops.

Tomorrow, they will visit the Benedictine monastery where the Pope will be staying in Sao Paolo. They will also meet with all persons who will be taking part in the various papal liturgies during the visit.

They will proceed to Aparecida after lunch. Besides the Sanctuary of Our Lady, where he will be opening the 5th General confeence of Latin American and Caribbean Bishops, the Pope will also be visiting a major national rehabilitation center for drug addicts in Guaratingueta, the city of which Aparecida was originally part.

2/11/2007 10:16 PM
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SAO PAOLO, Feb 10, (AP) Vatican special envoy Monsignor Piero Marini, and Dom Odilo Scherer,
general secretary of the Brazilian Confederation of Bishops, visit the Sao Bento (St. Benedict)
Monastery in Sao Paulo, where Pope Benedict XVI will stay during the first three nights
of his visit to Brazil in May.

Among other things, Marini examined vestments to be worn by the Pope during liturgical
celebrations to be held in Sao Paolo and met with all those who will take part in the
planned liturgies.

Incidentally, the site of the Benedictine monastery has an interactive map showing
where the monastery is located in Sao Paolo with reference to the Cathedral, for instance,
but I can only copy the map itself, not the interactive feature (when you click on a location,
you get a picture with identification of the building you see).

The Monastery and College of St. Benedict is on the left side, and on the right, where you see
"Praca da Se" is where the Cathedral of Sao Paolo is. There's a Metro station right next to the monastery.

Here is where to see the interactive map:

Unfortunately, the site itself does not have pictures of the monastery other than what's
part of their web-page design. There's a very good history of it, that has to be translated,
and if you read Portuguese, you could also follow the Benedictine prayer day.


From a Metro map of Sao Paolo. The grey area marked
Campo de Marte near the upper edge is where Mass
will be held. To the right of center are the stops
for Sao Bento, where he will stay, and Se, site of
the Cathedral of Sao Paolo, where he will meet with
Brazilian bishops and clergy. On the lower left side,
at the stop called Clinicas, is Pacaembu stadium,
where he will meet with the youth. (This is another
interactive map which can only be copied sector by
sector. Fortunately the major Papal events are all
within the same relatively small sector.)

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 01/03/2007 14.07]

2/13/2007 4:54 AM
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I've summarized two reports posted by Andrea in the Iberian section today relating to the Pope's visit to Brazil.

SIR, the news agency of the Italian bishops conference, reports from Aparecida that 300,000 people are expected to attend the Mass to be celebrated May 13 at the National Sanctuary of Our Lady of Aparecida by Pope Benedict XVI.

Mons. Piero Marini, liturgical master of ceremonies for the Pope, and his assistant, Mons. Enrico Vigano, were in Aparecida yesterday to inspect the site and look into preparations for the Pope's visit.

They were accompanied by Dom Geraldo Lírio, Archbishop of Vitória da Conquista, and in charge of liturgy for the V General Conference fo Latin American and Caribbean Bishops, which is the occasion for the Pope's visit to Brazil.

Last Friday, Marini visited the site of the open-air Mass to be celebrated by the Pope in Sao Paolo on May 11 at the Campo da Marte airfield north of the city.

According to a Portuguese news agency, Church officials said they expected up to 2 million faithful to attend this Mass even if it will be on a weekday.

Marini looked at the winning design for the altar, which was selected from five submitted, and suggested a few changes, such as extending the roof to protect the whole altar in case of rain.

The texts for the various liturgical celebrations by the Pope in Brazil have been approved, and will now be printed into booklets carrying the texts in Portuguese, Spanish in English.

Marini and Vigano have returned to the Vatican.



A news report today (2/13) from an online Portuguese news agency - posted by Andrea in the Iberian section - now estimates the attendance at the Pope's Mass in Aparecida to be as many as 500,000-600,00. The annual feast of Our Lady Aparecida on October 12 normally attracts 200,000 pilgrims.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 13/02/2007 18.02]

2/13/2007 5:50 AM
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Hymn Will Welcome Pope to Brazil

BRASILIA, Brazil, FEB. 12, 2007 ( A hymn written to welcome Benedict XVI to Brazil stresses the idea that God is love.

The song, written by Capuchin Friar Luiz Turra, highlights the theme from the Pope's first encyclical, "Deus Caritas Est," [using it as a refrain for every line].

It also offers homage to the Bishop of Rome and a summary of his upcoming journey to Brazil.

The country's episcopal conference published the hymn in preparation for the Holy Father's trip this May. In Brazil he plans to open the 5th General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America.

This ecclesial meeting will gather pastors from Latin American and the Caribbean, as well as from the United States, Spain and Portugal. The prelates that will attend represent almost half the world's Catholics.


ZENIT does not provide a translation even, but here from
the Brazilian bishops conference site is the text of the hymn:

“Bento, bendito o que vem em nome do Senhor”
de autoria do Frei Luiz Sebastião Turra, OFMCap

Bento, “Bendito o que vem em nome do Senhor”!
Bem-vindo! Bem-vindo! Este povo te acolhe com amor.
Tu, que proclamaste ao povo: DEUS É AMOR!
Vens anunciar de novo: DEUS É AMOR!
Com a Mãe Aparecida nos confirmas: DEUS É AMOR!
Tu proclamas para a América Latina: DEUS É AMOR!

Na diversidade, unidos: DEUS É AMOR!
Proclamamos decididos: DEUS É AMOR!
Nós queremos ser discípulos de Cristo: DEUS É AMOR!
Missionários para todos terem vida: DEUS É AMOR!

Entre sombras e esperanças: DEUS É AMOR!
Caminhamos na confiança: DEUS É AMOR!
Novos rumos, novos tempos esperamos: DEUS É AMOR!
Nesta quinta conferência celebramos: DEUS É AMOR!

"Benedict: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord"
Words and music by Fr. Luiz Sebastião Turra, OFMCap

Benedict, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord"!
Welcome, welcome. This people welcome you with love.
You, who proclaimed to the people: GOD IS LOVE!
You come to announce it again: GOD IS LOVE!
Like our Mother of Aparecida, you confirm: GOD IS LOVE!
For Latin America you proclaim: GOD IS LOVE!

In diversity, united: GOD IS LOVE!
Resolutely we proclaim: GOD IS LOVE !
We want to be disciples of Christ: GOD IS LOVE!
Missionaries for life: GOD IS LOVE!

Between shadows and hope: GOD IS LOVE!
We will walk with confidence: GOD IS LOVE!
Along new ways, towards new times: GOD IS LOVE!
All this we hope from this conference: GOD IS LOVE!

The visit site of the Sao Paolo Archdiocese has since provided the sheet music for the hymn:

Some biographical notes about Fr. Turra, the composer and lyricist:

He is a Capuchin friar who started his novitiate in 1964 around the time Vatican-II issued its first document on the liturgy. That began his interst in liturgy and church music. Ordained in 1971, he became professor of Liturgy and Chant at his seminary while rendering pastoral services at parish churches. In 1999, he was elected Father Provincial of the Capuchin friars of Rio Grando do Sul, Mato Grosso and Rondonia regions.He coordinates church music activities in the Archdiocese of Porto Alegre and surrounding dioceses.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 19/02/2007 16.32]

2/13/2007 6:17 AM
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From the CELAM site:


The Seminary where the Pope will be staying is located about 700 meters from the Sanctuary.

Pictures show the scale of the Sanctuary structure. The Bell tower and the top of the dome are as tall as a 20-story building. [It's very frustrating that both the CELAM site and the Sanctuary site have beautiful panoramic pictures of the Sanctuary and surroundings in their web-page designs but I haven't figured out how to lift pictures - if possible even - from an Adobe-Flash presentation !]

Bottom pictures show the vast pilgrim center adjoining the Sanctuary.

The Church has four naves leading from a central circular altar.

The image of Our Lady of Aparecida is enshrined on the far wall.

These pictures of Our Lady of Aparecida were taken before 2004, when the crown shown here (given to the image by the Princess Isabel for the Virgin's Coronation in 1904, was replaced with a new crown shown in the first picture story on Aparecida posted in this thread.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 13/02/2007 18.03]

3/1/2007 3:44 AM
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Visiting pope to canonise first Brazilian saint

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Pope Benedict will canonise the first Brazilian-born saint during his first visit to the world's largest Roman Catholic country in May, Brazil's Catholic Church said on Friday.

People who have benefited from healing miracles attributed to Franciscan Friar Galvao are expected to take part in the ceremony on May 11 in Brazil's biggest city, Sao Paulo, and receive communion from the pope, said the Rev. Juarez de Castro, a spokesman for the Sao Paulo Archdiocese.

Friar Galvao lived between 1739 and 1822 and was the founder of the Monastery of the Light -- now a U.N. world heritage site. He was beatified by the late Pope John Paul II in 1998.

Canonisations normally occur in the Vatican.

The Brazilian National Bishops' Conference hailed Vatican's decision which it received earlier on Friday.

It said in a statement that it "thanks Pope Benedict for this decision and also invites all people to rejoice the canonisation of the first saint born in Brazil."

"The canonisation ceremony is very simple. At the beginning of the mass someone chosen by the pope, normally a cardinal, would read a canonisation decree and immediately afterwards a big picture of the saint is unfolded," de Castro said.

Pope Benedict is scheduled to arrive in Brazil on May 9 and meet President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva the following day.

The church said some 1.5 million people are expected to attend his mass at the Campo de Marte air field in Sao Paulo on May 11, where the canonisation will occur.

On May 13, Pope Benedict will hold a mass in Aparecida do Norte, the largest shrine dedicated to Virgin Mary in the world, and will open the Latin American Episcopal Conference.

Beatification, for which one miracle has to be recognised by the Vatican, is the penultimate step before sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church. In December, the Holy See recognised Friar Galvao's second miracle, opening the way for his canonisation.

The first miracle was in 1990, when a 4-year-old boy considered to be incurable by doctors was healed after prayer to Friar Galvao. In the second, both mother and child were saved in a high-risk birth.

Pope Benedict's visit will be the fourth by a pontiff to Brazil, where more than 70 percent of the population of around 186 million describe themselves as Catholics.
3/2/2007 9:47 PM
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Here are updates from the Archdiocese of Sao Paolo site for the Pope's coming visit to Brazil:


Artist's conceptions of Papal tribunal at Pacaembu, where an evening rally will be held.

Thirty thousand youths are expected to be at Sao Paolo's Pacaembu Stadium for the rally with Pope Benedict XVI on May 10. The event will start at 6 p.m.

Those who cannot be accomodated inside the stadium may watch from a nearby park where giant TV screens will be set up.

The Vatican has approved the design for the Papal tribunal to be used for the occasion, which is in the form of a dove.

Each diocese in the Sao Paolo region has until March 15 to register the number of participants from their diocese. Magnetic entry cards will be issued to each registered participant.


Artist's conception of Campo Marte altar

At least 1.5 million pilgrims are expected to attend the Pope's Mass in Sao Paolo on May 11, to be held at the Campo Marte airfield.

The design for the Papal altar has also been approved. Both the design for the Mass altar and the stage at Pacaembu have provisions to shelter the Pope in case of rain.

This Mass will be significant for the canonization of Blessed Antonio Galvao do Franca (1739-1822), Brazil's first native-born saint. He was a Franciscan friar.


Two Popemobiles will arrive in Brazil friom the Vatican a week before the Pope's visit. One of them will be used in Sao Paolo, the other in Aparecida, where the Pope will open the 5th General Conference of Latin American and Caribbean Bishops and conclude his Brazilian visit on May 13.

A Popemobile used by John Paul II on his 1997 visit to Brazil is in Brasilia, the national capital, but it is considered antiquated now.

The Brazilian government also has three helicopters - each capable of holding 17 passengers -for the use of the Pope and his immediate entourage during the visit.

3/13/2007 7:58 PM
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Open-air mass
Brazil Preparing Open-air Papal Mass

SÃO PAULO, MARCH 12, 2007 ( Plans are being made for an open-air Mass in Aparecida, to accommodate large crowds expected for Benedict XVI's visit.

On May 13, the Holy Father will celebrate Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida in the context of the 5th General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The shrine's representatives and the Latin American bishops' council expect some 500,000 pilgrims, making it necessary to celebrate the Mass outdoors.

Aparecida, a town of 35,000 inhabitants, attracts 8 million pilgrims a year.

Great numbers of faithful are expected in São Paulo, where the Pope will arrive on May 9. The following day he will attend a meeting with young people and on May 11 he will canonize Blessed Antonio de Santa Ana.
3/16/2007 12:21 AM
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From the CELAM website:

Colonnade in front of the Basilica of the Virgin of Aparecida.

Intensive preparations are underway in the city of Aparecida, Brazil for the V General Conference of the bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, which Pope Benedict XVI will open on May 13.

They have released a video of the preparations for the Open-Air Mass that the Pope will celebrate in Aparecida. It will be held in the huge parking space and visitors plaza in front of the Basilica.
[The link works - click on it]

Here is how the the altar and the space will be configured.

The site set up by the Archdiocese of Sao Paolo for the Pope's visit carries stories about the firms that have been chosen to execute the liturgical vestments for the Pope and his concelebrants in Sao Paolo as well as in Aparecida.

The company that has the commission for the Aparecida vestments has some descriptions of them but I am waiting for pictures. The Pope's chasuble and miter will be in old gold, embroidered with symbols of a shell with a pearl (signifying the Maternity of Mary) and a fishnet (the image of the Virgin of Aparecida was fished from the bottom of a well, the Pope as the fisher of men, of course].

No details so far from the Sao Paolo group.
3/17/2007 1:47 PM
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A Brazilian problem
This article is about something that has become an increasing problem for the Catholic Church in Brazil in particular: the evangelical sects. The problem of liberation theology goes back to the early 80's and does not seem to have died down

March 16, 2007

Pope plans Brazil trip as Church loses ground to evangelical sects

By Gina Doggett

VATICAN CITY (AFP) - Pope Benedict XVI will head in May to Brazil, the world's largest Roman Catholic country in a region where the Church faces rising competition from evangelical sects.

The Vatican officially confirmed the trip Friday, nearly a year and a half after it was announced in Brazil, where he will touch down in Sao Paolo before heading to nearby Aparecida to open a conference of Latin American bishops.

The trip will be the first of Benedict's nearly two-year-old pontificate to the Americas, the Church's traditional stronghold.

The Vatican did not give details of the pope's programme, but local church sources said he would celebrate an open-air mass in Aparecida, near Sao Paulo, on May 13 before opening the 18-day Latin American Episcopal Conference.

Participants will discuss the proliferation of evangelical sects competing with the Catholic Church, as well as poverty and exclusion in Latin America and the impact of globalisation.

Brazilian prelate Claudio Hummes, then Sao Paulo's archbishop, raised the alarm about shrinking Church numbers during an October 2005 bishops' synod at the Vatican.

"How much longer will Latin America still be a Catholic continent?" he asked.

Hummes, whom Benedict appointed to the prestigious office of prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy last year, said the Brazilian Catholic Church had declined from 83 percent of the population in 1991 to 67 percent in 2005.

The Church's stand against divorced and remarried Catholics receiving communion -- reaffirmed in a papal document just this week -- is a major factor prompting Catholics to leave the Church for Pentecostal sects, several bishops noted.

The trip will also shine the spotlight on a growing gap between the Church hierarchy and the Catholic grassroots in Latin America on questions of doctrine.

Most of the region's bishops backed a document released on Tuesday in which the pope reaffirmed the requirement of celibacy for Catholic priests and urged Catholic politicians to oppose legislation favouring abortion, divorce or euthanasia.

But several Catholic associations and proponents of liberation theology, popular across Latin America, voiced disappointment in the text.

Sao Paulo auxiliary Bishop Luiz Sringhini said the papal exhortation addressed the "big question ... of whether Catholicism influences society or is devoured by it."

Friday's confirmation of the trip to Brazil also came two days after the Vatican took fresh aim at liberation theology, issuing a warning to one of its leading lights, Spanish Jesuit priest Jon Sobrino.

Sobrino's books, widely distributed in Latin America, contain passages that are "either erroneous or dangerous and may cause harm to the faithful," the Vatican said.

The conservative pope, 79, is a strong opponent of liberation theology, which took root in Latin America in the 1960s and 1970s and focuses on Christ as the liberator of the oppressed.

It emphasises the Christian mission of bringing justice to the poor and oppressed, particularly through political activism, and its advocates were champions in the fight against oppressive South American regimes.

As head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for more than two decades before becoming pope, the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger locked horns with Brazil's leading advocate of liberation theology, Franciscan Leonardo Boff, in 1985, silencing him for a year.

Boff reacted to the Vatican's censure of Sobrino on Wednesday by saying the move "discourages the poor, and it is bad for the Church to condemn people with such a spiritual talent."
3/23/2007 12:04 AM
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As I only referred to this in a 'brief' within the News Alert/Update yesterday, here is the full story. Mons. Scherer deserves it.

Pope names new archbishop of Sao Paulo
By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY, Mar. 21 (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI named a new archbishop for the Archdiocese of Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest see.

The Vatican announced the appointment of Auxiliary Bishop Odilo Pedro Scherer of Sao Paulo in a March 21 statement.

The 57-year-old archbishop fills the see left vacant since October 2006 when Pope Benedict appointed the city's former archbishop, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, as head the Vatican's Congregation for Clergy.

Born of German descendants in Sao Francisco, Brazil, Archbishop Scherer has strong ties to Rome. He studied philosophy and theology at Rome's Pontifical Brazilian College and the Pontifical Gregorian University, and worked as an official for the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops from 1994 to 2001.

Ordained a priest in 1976, he served as pastor in the Brazilian Diocese of Toledo. He taught and served as rector of a number of seminaries and religious institutes in southern Brazil.

Archbishop Scherer was named auxiliary bishop of Sao Paulo in November 2001, and in May 2003 he was elected secretary-general of the Brazilian bishops' conference.

In December 2006, Pope Benedict named him adjunct secretary-general of the fifth general conference of the Latin American bishops. The conference will be held May 13-31 outside Sao Paulo in Aparecida. The pope, who will officially open the conference, is expected to visit Sao Paulo when he travels to Brazil May 9-13.

Sao Paulo is one of the most populous cities in the world with more than 11 million inhabitants. While more than 80 percent of the city's ethnically diverse population is Catholic, Archbishop Scherer recently expressed concern about what he called a "silent flight of the faithful."

He said "the faithful are more fickle" in Brazil, according to a Feb. 7 report by Catholic News Agency. He said even though most Brazilians were religious, a lack of religious formation and instruction about the church was causing a serious flight of Catholics from the pews, the agency reported.

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