Franciscan Father Giulio Michelini will lead meditations on the Gospel of Matthew

Pope Francis has chosen a Franciscan professor of biblical theology to lead his annual Lenten retreat.

Franciscan Father Giulio Michelini, 53, will lead meditations on the Gospel of Matthew’s description of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus, according to the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.

Pope Francis and top members of the Roman Curia will make their annual retreat March 5-10 at the Pauline Fathers’ retreat centre in Ariccia, 20 miles southeast of Rome, the newspaper reported.

Father Michelini, who was born in Milan, took his vows as a member of the Order of Friars Minor in 1992 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1994. He earned his doctorate in biblical theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He currently teaches at the Theological Institute of Assisi, which is connected to the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.

The Lenten retreat will begin with eucharistic adoration and vespers the evening of March 5. The next three days will begin with Mass at 7.30pm am, a meditation from Fr Michelini at 9.30am and another at 4pm, followed by adoration and vespers. The final day, March 10, will include one final reflection by the Franciscan friar.

While on retreat, all public and private audiences of the Pope, including the Wednesday general audience, are cancelled.