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Benedict to venerate relics of Pope who resigned

CWN - June 17, 2010

The Holy See Press Office on June 16 announced the schedule for Pope Benedict’s July 4 pastoral visit to Sulmona, a small central Italian city with 25,000 residents. Following an outdoor Mass and recitation of the Angelus, the Pontiff will address local youth and venerate the relics of two saints in the crypt of the city’s cathedral.

St. Pamphilus, whose feast day in the current (2004) Roman Martyrology is April 28, died around the year 700 and was bishop of the nearby city of Corfinio.

St. Peter Celestine (Celestine V), whose feast day is May 19, gained a reputation for sanctity as a hermit and was elected Pope in 1294 after a two-year conclave. He resigned five months later and was imprisoned by his successor after spending several months wandering in the forest to avoid arrest. In August 2009, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state, traveled to Sulmona to inaugurate the Celestine Year in honor of the eighth centenary of his birth.

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