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Pope will make weekend pilgrimage to Pavia April 20, 2007

Pope Benedict XVI will travel this weekend to Pavia, in northwestern Italy, where he will pray before the relics of St. Augustine.

On the eve of the papal trip, the Vatican released full details of the Pope's itinerary for a pilgrimage that will climax with a visit to the basilica of San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro, where the relics of St. Augustine are kept. The Holy Father-- who earned his doctorate in theology with a dissertation on St. Augustine-- had expressed an interest in praying at that basilica some months ago.

Leaving Rome on Saturday afternoon, the Pope will fly to Milan, continuing by helicopter to the town of Vigevano. There he will celebrate Mass, then continue by helicopter to Pavia, where he will attend an evening musical concert and spend the night in the bishop's residence.

On Sunday morning, April 22, the Holy Father will visit a medical clinic in Pavia, speaking to patients and staff there. He will celebrate Mass, and meet with university students and faculty before going to the basilica of San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro ("St. Peter in the Golden Sky"). Late in the afternoon he will return by helicopter to Milan, and from there by plane to Rome, arriving Sunday evening.

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