Pope Francis will retire to Civitavecchia prison for the liturgy today, Maundy Thursday.
(Rome) Pope Francis visited Benedict XVI yesterday to congratulate his predecessor on his approaching 95th birthday. At the same time, it became known where the head of the Church is withdrawing from today's public celebration of Maundy Thursday, and his pastoral trip to Lebanon was confirmed.
Visit of Benedict XVI for the 95th birthday
The Vatican press office published the visit to the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, which Francis used to bring Benedict XVI. his Easter wishes.
Shortly after 6 p.m., the reigning head of the Church went to the Vatican Gardens. Benedict XVI will celebrate his 95th birthday on Holy Saturday. He was born on April 16, 1927 in Marktl am Inn, Upper Bavaria. From 2005 to 2013 he reigned as the 265th pope. His tenure was significantly shorter than his life span since his resignation. Since a pope is elected for life, he is one of only three successors of Peter who have voluntarily resigned their pontificate, he being the only one for reasons of age.
Maundy Thursday in prison
On Maundy Thursday today, as in previous years, Pope Francis is withdrawing from his diocese. On this first holy day of the Paschal Triduum, the Church commemorates Christ's institution of the priesthood and Eucharist at the Last Supper. The sacred liturgy in the Lateran Basilica, the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, will be celebrated by Cardinal Vicar Angelo De Donatis on behalf of Francis.
Francis continues to systematically conceal the institution of these sacraments, even though they are constitutive of the Church and the most hostile from the modernist side. As in previous years since 2013, the place where Francis is going instead will be kept secret until the end. While the Vatican has yet to comment, local newspaper La Provincia di Civitavecchia reported in yesterday's edition that the Pope will visit the prison there. The newspaper referred to the head of the Italian prison chaplaincy Don Raffaele Grimaldi.
The port city of Civitavecchia is around 60 kilometers northwest of Rome. St. Cornelius, who held the Chair of Peter as the 21st Pope from 251 to 253, was imprisoned in it. Emperor Gallus had him arrested in the course of the persecution of Christians. Cornelius died in captivity.
In Civitavecchia, a statue of Mary is said to have cried blood fourteen times since 1995. John Paul II obtained detailed information about this and visited the statue of Mary incognito several times. Such an interest is not known of Pope Francis.
The prison that Francis will visit is seven kilometers north of the city. It is a new building built in 1992 on an area of two hectares. It currently holds 465 prisoners. According to the website of the Ministry of Justice, they have not been allowed to receive personal visits since spring 2020 because of the alleged corona pandemic. Will Francis stand up for the prisoners?
The prison employs 222 prison police officers and 39 civilian employees. The old prison in the city is now used as a women's prison. It is named after Giuseppe Passerini, a prison police officer who was shot dead on duty there in 1974 by an escaping convict serving a life sentence for robbery-murder. The official was married and the father of two underage children. The perpetrator, who managed to escape, was killed shortly afterwards in an exchange of fire with the police.
A group of prisoners, officials and employees will attend the liturgy by Francis today. The Pope will wash the feet of twelve chosen ones. In the past, he also washed the feet and gave Communion to people of false religions and heretics, especially Muslim immigrants and prisoners. The relevant information has never been denied by the Vatican.
Pastoral trip to Lebanon confirmed
The visit to Lebanon has since been confirmed. Yesterday, the Lebanese national news agency NNA reported that Vatican Foreign Minister Archbishop Richard Paul Gallagher wrote a letter to Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri saying that Pope Francis will visit Lebanon on June 12-13. Berri is a Shiite and leader of the Amal movement.
It is currently not known whether there will be a meeting with the Russian Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow, as is being sought behind the scenes.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Google Maps (screenshot)
Trans: Tancred email@example.com