Bishops from the Czech Republic will meet the Pope
Prague: Fifteen bishops from the Bohemian and Moravian ecclesiastical provinces together with many other pilgrims from the Czech Republic will visit Rome on 11th–17th February 2014. The aim of their ad limina apostolorum (“to the thresholds of the apostles”) visit is to make a pilgrimage to the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul and to meet the Holy Father. Bishops will also visit several offices of the Roman Curia to report on the life of the Church in the Czech Republic. The last such a visit took place in November 2005, when bishops met Pope Benedict XVI.
The program will start with the mass at the St. Peter’s tomb in the Vatican basilica on Tuesday, 11th February, at 5.00 p.m. The meeting with Pope Francis is scheduled for Friday; on that day, bishops will also celebrate the mass with Czech pilgrims at the St. Clement’s basilica to commemorate the 1145th anniversary of the death of St. Cyril, who died on 14th February 869 and his relics are kept in the basilica. On other days, masses will be celebrated in major Roman churches. During the visit, Pope Francis will bless new crowns for a relief of Our Lady, the so-called “Palladium of Bohemia”; they will be installed on the relief during the feast of St. Wenceslaus on 28th September.
The bishops will be accompanied by the lay faithful from the Czech Republic. Their pilgrimage is coordinated by the Pilgrimage Centre of the Hradec Králové Diocese. Several Czech media will also be present, among them TV Noe with its studio.