French Carmelite to preach Lenten Retreat at the Vatican
February 07, 2011
Pope Benedict XVI has chosen a French theologian, Father Francois-Marie Lethel, to preach this year’s Lenten Retreat at the Vatican.
Father Lethel, a Discalced Carmelite, is the secretary of the Pontifical Academy of Theology; he has written extensively on the lives of the saints. The theme for the retreat will be: “The light of Christ in the heart of the Church: John Paul II and the theology of the saints.”
The Vatican indicated that the retreat is intended to prepare participants not only for their Lenten spiritual journey but also for the beatification of Pope John Paul II on May 1.
The annual spiritual exercises, held in the Redemptoris Mater chapel of the apostolic palace, are attended by the Pope and the leaders of the Roman Curia. During the week-long retreat, papal audiences are cancelled and Vatican offices work at a reduced schedule. This year’s Lenten Retreat will begin on March 13, the first Sunday of Lent, and continue through the following Saturday.