U.S. Students to Join European University Day

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WASHINGTON, D.C., FEB. 19, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Students from the Catholic University of America will participate in a Marian prayer vigil presided over by Benedict XVI to mark the sixth European Day for Universities next month.

The Pope will lead a rosary March 1 in Paul VI Hall, accompanied by university students and linked to gatherings in Naples, Italy; Bucharest, Romania; Toledo, Spain; Avignon, France; Minsk, Belarus; Washington D.C.; Mexico City; Havana; Aparecida, Brazil; and Loja, Ecuador.

The Council of European Episcopal Conferences and the vicariate of Rome's office for pastoral care in universities have promoted the event. The theme is "Europe and the Americas Together to Build a Civilization of Love."

Benedict XVI will lead the praying of the Rosary, then address some words to the participants before distributing copies of his Encyclical "Spe Salvi" to a number of student representatives.

Catholic University will take part in the recitation of the fifth glorious mystery. Eternal Word Television Network will transmit the university's portion via satellite to the other locations, and broadcast the event to its viewers.

Archbishop Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, D.C., and chancellor of Catholic University, will preside at the gathering on that campus and deliver the welcoming address to the Holy Father before the rosary begins. Father David M. O'Connell, university president, will assist him.

This event occurs approximately six weeks before Benedict XVI makes his first visit to the United States in April. He will visit Catholic University on April 17 to address presidents of Catholic universities and diocesan heads of education.