Vatican City, 30 July 2012 (VIS) - Following are highlights of the activities of Pope Benedict XVI and of the Holy See for the months of January to April 2012. Another summary, covering the period from May to July, will be published tomorrow.
1: Benedict XVI presides at a Eucharistic celebration for the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God, and for the forty-third World Day of Peace which has as its theme this year: "Educating Young People in Justice and Peace".
3: Publication of the Holy Father's Message for the World Day of the Sick, to be held on 11 February, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. The message, dated from the Vatican on 20 November 2011, Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ Universal King, is entitled: "Stand up and go; your faith has saved you".
14: The Holy Father receives in audience Mario Monti, prime minister of the Republic of Italy.
19: The Holy Father receives a group of prelates from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (Regions 4 and 6), at the end of their "ad limina" visit.
20: The Pontifical Council for the Laity publishes a decree approving the celebrations contained in the Catechetical Directory of the Neo-Catechumenal Way. The decree, dated 8 January, Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, bears the signatures of Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko and Bishop Josef Clemens, respectively president and secretary of the council.
24: Presentation of Benedict XVI's Message for the forty-sixth World Day of Social Communications, entitled: "Silence and Word: Path of Evangelisation".
25: The Holy See, acting also in the name and on behalf of Vatican City State, adheres to the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (New York, 1999) and to the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime (Palermo, 2000). On the same date the Holy See ratifies, likewise in the name and on behalf of Vatican City State, the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Vienna, 1988), which it had already signed in the year in which it was adopted.
31: Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, former archbishop of Philadelphia, U.S.A., dies at the age of 88.
6: The Pope receives Laurence Argimon-Pistre, head of the delegation of the European Union, for the presentation of her Letters of Credence.
7: International symposium entitled "Towards Healing and Renewal" bringing together bishops and religious superiors from all over the world with the aim of relaunching the Church's commitment to protecting minors and vulnerable people from child abuse.
7: Publication of the 2012 Lenten Message of the Holy Father Benedict XVI, the title of which is taken from the Letter to the Hebrews: "Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works".
13: Publication of the Pope's Message for the forth-ninth World Day of Prayer for Vocations. The Day is due to be celebrated on 29 April on the theme: "Vocations, the Gift of the Love of God".
14: Official visit to the Vatican of a delegation of ministers from the United Kingdom to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the establishment of full diplomatic relations with the Holy See.
16: The Pope receives Budiarman Barar, the new ambassador of Indonesia to the Holy See, for the presentation of his Letters of Credence.
16: The Pope receives Daniel Edgardo Ramada Piendibene, the new ambassador of Uruguay to the Holy See, for the presentation of his Letters of Credence.
18: Benedict XVI celebrates the fourth ordinary public consistory of his pontificate, during which he creates twenty-two new cardinals.
24: The Holy Father receives in audience His Majesty Siaosi Tupou V, King of Tonga.
29: Inauguration of an exhibition entitled "'Lux in Arcana' - the Vatican Secret Archives unveiled", organised to mark the fourth centenary of the foundation of the Archives.
4: Benedict XVI visits the Roman parish of "San Giovanni Battista de La Salle al Torrino".
9: Cardinal Jose T. Sanchez, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy, dies at the age of 91.
9: The Holy Father receives a group of prelates from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, at the end of their "ad limina" visit.
10: The Holy Father presides at Vespers in the Roman monastery of San Gregorio al Celio, to mark the visit to Rome of His Grace Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury and primate of the Anglican Communion.
14: Presentation, in the German embassy to the Holy See, of a work by Joseph Ratzinger: "The People and the House of God in Augustine's Doctrine of the Church". The book, the Pope's doctoral thesis from 1953, is part of a series of sixteen volumes which aims to bring together all Joseph Ratzinger's theological works up to the time of his election to the papal throne in 2005.
16: The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith opens a new domain within the official website of the Holy See, to facilitate the consultation of its documents which, having the express approbation of the Holy Father, participate in his ordinary Magisterium as Peter's Successor.
23-28: The Holy Father makes an apostolic trip to Mexico and Cuba.
7: His Beatitude Cardinal Ignace Moussa I Daoud, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Oriental Churches and patriarch emeritus of Antioch of the Syrians, dies in Rome at the age of 82.
10: Cardinal Luis Aponte Martinez, archbishop emeritus of San Juan de Puerto Rico, dies at the age of 89.
14: Benedict XVI sends a message to Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier, Germany, for the fifth centenary of the first public display of the "Heiliger Rock", said to be the Holy Robe which Jesus wore before His crucifixion.19: On this seventh anniversary of the election of the Holy Father Benedict XVI, the new www.vatican.va widget becomes available to users of the Internet.