By Francesca Merlo
The announcement was made by Bishop Marcello Semeraro, who explained in a letter that September 21ist is an important day for the Church in Albano. It is the feast of St Matthew, it is the day Jorge Mario Bergoglio, in 1953, met a priest who proved to be very important for his vocation and it is also the day that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, in 2008, visited the Cathedral of Albano.
“Since then”, said Bishop Semeraro, “that date has been a point of reference for celebrating the anniversary of the Dedication of our Cathedral”, which he added has finally finished being restored.
The Pope responded positively to Monsignor Semeraro's request and, therefore, Pope Francis will arrive in Albano Laziale on the afternoon of September 21 and will preside over the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
Preparing for the Pope
Bishop Semeraro then expressed his gratitude to Pope Francis and stated that the details of the event will be communicated later.
“From now on, however” concluded the Bishop of Albano, “I invite you to prepare for the meeting with the Pope, anticipating his joy with prayer and with the renewed commitment to live as faithful children of the Holy Mother Church".
Pope Leo III
The building of the Cathedral of Albano was consecrated in 1721, though it stands on the site of a much older basilica which was once dedicated to St John the Baptist. Pope Leo III built a new Cathedral and changed its dedication, to what it is now: Saint Pancras.