APOSTOLIC JOURNEYS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI 2011

 APOSTOLIC JOURNEYS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI ??? 2011  

This stamp issue commemorates the 2011 papal journeys to Croatia, the Republic of San Marino, Germany and Benin. The Pope travelled to Croatia in June for a brief but busy visit full of encounters marked with an intense spirit of faith. He paid homage to Blessed Alojzije Viktor Stepinac praying at his tomb, and he celebrated a Mass on the occasion of the "National Day of Croatian Catholic Families'. In June he also visited the Republic of San Marino where he met with the local authorities and highlighted the problem of unemployment affecting young people especially, and he celebrated a Mass in the Basilica dedicated to the patron of one of the most ancient republics in the world. In August Benedict XVI went to Spain where he met with young people from around the world participating in "World Youth Day', which had as its theme, "Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith' (cf. Col 2:7). He recalled the need for a close relationship with the Lord as a way to contrast the relativism of modern society. In September the Pope returned to his native land for a four-day visit. During his address given at the Bundestag in Berlin, he noted the primary importance of striving for justice over political success. He met with representatives of the Jewish and Muslim communities in Germany, and he visited the former convent where Martin Luther studied theology. His last journey in 2011 took him to Benin where he did not hesitate to point out the difficult challenges facing the African continent. He called on government leaders to respond to their civic responsibility, also in the struggle to eradicate illiteracy, a cause of social exclusion.