Pope Benedict XVI to Visit House of the Verbites

Congregation Center Was Site of Historic Second Vatican Council Meeting

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 6, 2012 (Zenit.org).- On Monday, Pope Benedict XVI will visit the House of the Verbites in Nemi, a village near Castelgandolfo, according to a communique issued today by the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household.

It was at the House of the Verbites - which since January 2010 has been known as the "Ad Gentes Centre" - that the Second Vatican Council Commission on Missions met to prepare the draft of the Conciliar Decree on the Mission Activity of the Church.

The then theologian and professor Joseph Ratzinger participated in the session held there from March 29 to April 3, 1965 as an expert of the conciliar assembly. For this reason, the Holy Father will make this private visit at the invitation of the Missionaries of the Divine Word.

Pope Benedict XVI will depart his summer home in Castelgandolfo and will be welcomed in the House of the Verbites by Fr. Heinz Kuluke, superior general elect. Also receiving the Pope will be Fr. Antonio Pernia, superior general, and Fr. Giancarlo Girardi, procurator general.

The Holy Father will then move on the chapel to meet with the 150 participants in the general chapter of the order and the community of the Mother House in Rome. Having adored the Blessed Sacrament, and listened to a welcome address from Fr. Pernia, the Pope will make some brief remarks and impart his apostolic blessing.