Pope to Visit Tomb of Father of Europe

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 13, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI will visit the Roman parish of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls and stop at the tomb of Alcide de Gasperi, a founding father of the European Union.

The Pope will make the visit and celebrate Mass there at 9:45 a.m. on Nov. 30, L'Osservatore Romano reported. He will pray at the tomb of St. Lawrence, marking the 1,750th anniversary of his martyrdom, and at the tomb of Blessed Pius IX.

Alcide de Gasperi (1881-1954) was a politician who, together with Konrad Adenauer, Robert Schuman and Jean Monnet, is considered a "father of the united Europe."

He served as minister of foreign affairs and prime minister in Italy, and he founded the Christian Democrat Party there. The cause for his beatification has been opened.