Visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the Czech Republic - Praha - Brno - Stará BoleslavVisit of Pope Benedict XVI to the Czech Republic - Praha - Brno - Stará Boleslav

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26.09.2009, author: Monika Vývodova, kategorie: News

The Holy Father Benedict XVI has been welcomed in the Czech Republic

The Czech President, representatives of the Catholic Church, children and the Prague Castle Guard welcomed the pope
The Holy Father Benedict XVI has been welcomed in the Czech Republic  

Today, on Saturday, September 26, 2009, Benedict XVI. has arrived to the Czech republic on his 13th pontifical journey. Airplane of the Alitalia company with the Pope on board landed on the Stará Ruzyně Airport in Prague at 11:20 a.m.. During his visit, the Pope is going to visit Prague, Brno and Stará Boleslav and he will meet the Czech representatives of the political and social life, the representatives of the Church, and primarily with the faithful of the Czech republic.

Like always, the Pope sent a telegramme to the President of the Italian republic Giorgi Napolitanovi when he was leaving the Italian soil.

Last Sunday (September 20, 2009), the Pope has already described the programme and purposes of his journey before the Angelus Domini prayer: "God willing, I will take an apostlolic journey to the Czech republic on the 26th through the 28th of September. I am going to visit the capital city of Prague, but I am also going to journey to Brno in Moravia and to Stará Boleslav, to the place of the martyrdom of St. Wenceslaus, the national patron. The Czech republic lies in the geographical and historical heart of Europe and after the dramas of the last century, and, like the whole European continent, it needs to find reasons for faith and hope. Following the footsteps of my beloved predecessor, John Paul II., who had visited the country three times, I shall pay homage to the ancient and recent hero witnesses of the Gospel and I shall encourage everyone to walk forth in love and truth. Thanks in advance to all who will be accompanying me in prayer on this journes to ask the Lord to bless it so it could bring many fruits.“

The papal visit to the Czech republic will be relatively short but his Holiness's program will be very intensive. His press agent, P. Federico Lombardi, SJ has proclaimed: “The Pope is going to make a visit to the heart of Europe, to a country of long history and significant cultural tradition that has been substantially marked by Christianity; to a country which is commemoratin 20 years since the fall of the communist regime and a peaceful transition to democracy; to a country where secularization is so wide that religious prectice is only carried out by a minority.“

After the landing at 11:20 a.m. on the Prague Ruzyně Airport, the Pope was welcomed by the Czech President Václav Klaus and his wife Livia, by cardinal Miloslav Vlk, the apostolic nuncius Diego Causero, by the archbishop Jan Graubner and by families with children. Introduction to the political representation and a ceremonial military salute were followed by the speech of the Czech president. Václav Klaus welcomed Benedict XVI. and remarked that his visit is taking place 20 years after the fall of the totalitarian regime. He said that the pope understands the Czech republic and he also mentioned the Pope's last encyclical.

Then, Benedict XVI. made his first speech in the English language at the beginning and end of which he shortly spoke Czech. He also said that "the whole of European culture has been profoundly shaped by its Christian heritage, this is especially true in the Czech lands, since it was through the missionary labours of Saints Cyril and Methodius in the ninth century that the old Slavonic language first came to be written down. Apostles of the Slavic peoples and founders of their culture, they are rightly venerated as Patrons of Europe." According to the Pope, the Czech lands have historically alsway been a meeting point of various nations, traditions and cultures. He called the forty-year time of political repression and attempts to silence the Church which has ended twenty years ago, "a time of particular hardship". He especially cordially pointed out the personalities of cardinals Josef Beran and František Tomášek, whom he had known personally, "for their indomitable Christian witness in the face of persecution." He called upon all the inhabitants of the Czech republic "to rediscover the Christian traditions which have shaped their culture" He encourage the Christians "to continue to make its voice heard" because it is a contribution to facing the challenges of the new millenium for “without God, man neither knows which way to go, nor even understands who he is” (Caritas in Veritate, 78). In conclusion, the Pope mentioned the Czech presidential standard with the sentence "The Truth wins" and expressed his wish that the light of truth lead this nation on. The whole text of the speech is available here.

After the welcoming ceremony, Benedict XVI. is visiting the chruch of Virgin Mary Victorious and the Prague Infant, where he is meeting families and presents a golden crown to the Prague Infant.

26.09.2009 11:30

Vítání Svatého otce v Ruzyni

Vítání Svatého otce v Ruzyni
Letiště Stará Ruzyně, Praha

Ceremoniál oficiálního přivítání Jeho Svatosti papeže Benedikta XVI. obrazem.

author: Markéta Jírů, Filip Kotek, Philippe Keulemans


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