Programme of liturgical celebrations for April and May released

The Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis will keep the Year of Faith appointments set by pope Bendict XVI, releasing the new Pontiff’s schedule for liturgical celebrations in April and May.

The first event on the programme is, however, part of the process of Pope Francis’s election. He is scheduled to celebrate Mass on April 7 and be installed at the Rome diocesan cathedral, the Basilica of St John Lateran. On Sunday, April 14, he will celebrate an evening Mass at another of Rome’s patriarchal basilica, St Paul Outside the Walls.

Other engagements, which are part of The Year of Faith, include a celebration of Mass and priestly ordinations in St Peter’s Basilica on April 21 and a celebration of Mass in St Peter’s Square on april, an event that will also include the administering of the sacrament of confirmation to a group of young people.

The Pope will visit the patriarchal Basilica of St Mary Major on May 4 and lead the recitation of the rosary. On May 12 in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis will preside over his first proclamation of new saints, canonising a number of individuals including Blessed Antonio Primaldo and his Italian companions killed by Ottoman soldiers in 1480; Blessed Mother Laura Montoya, the Colombian founder of the Missionary Sisters of Immaculate Mary and of St Catherine of Siena; and Blessed Mother Lupita Garcia Zavala, also known as Mother Maria Guadalupe, the Mexican co-founder of the Congregation of the Servants of St Margaret Mary and the Poor.

On May 18, the eve of Pentecost, Pope Francis will participate in a prayer vigil in St Peter’s Square with members of Catholic lay movements. The next morning, also in the square, he will celebrate Mass with them.