Pope chooses Franciscan friar to lead his Lenten retreat

Pope chooses Franciscan friar to lead his Lenten retreat

Pope chooses Franciscan friar to lead his Lenten retreat

Pope Francis, center, arrives to start six days of Lenten spiritual exercises in Ariccia, near Rome, Monday, March 7, 2016. (Credit: L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP.)

Pope Francis has chosen Father Giulio Michelini, a Franciscan professor of biblical theology, to lead his annual Lenten retreat. Michelini will lead meditations on the Gospel of Matthew's description of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus at the Pauline Fathers' retreat center in Ariccia, 20 miles southeast of Rome.

ROME — Pope Francis has chosen a Franciscan professor of biblical theology to lead his annual Lenten retreat.

Franciscan Father Giulio Michelini, 53, will lead meditations on the Gospel of Matthew’s description of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus, according to the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.

Pope Francis and top members of the Roman Curia will make their annual retreat March 5-10 at the Pauline Fathers’ retreat center in Ariccia, 20 miles southeast of Rome, the newspaper reported on February 14.

Father Michelini, who was born in Milan, took his vows as a member of the Order of Friars Minor in 1992 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1994. He earned his doctorate in biblical theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

He currently teaches at the Theological Institute of Assisi, which is connected to the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.

The Lenten retreat will begin with eucharistic adoration and vespers the evening of March 5. The next three days will begin with Mass at 7:30 a.m., a meditation from Father Michelini at 9:30 and another at 4 p.m., followed by adoration and vespers. The final day, March 10, will include one final reflection by the Franciscan friar.

While on retreat, all public and private audiences of the pope, including the Wednesday general audience, are canceled.

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