Thursday 11 June, Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Holy Father, Benedict XVI presided Mass in the square in front of his cathedral, San Giovanni in Laterano, at the end of which he presided the Blessed Sacrament Procession to Saint Mary's Major Basilica where he imparted Eucharistic Benediction on the faithful present.
On 19 June, in St Peter's Basilica, presiding the celebration of second Vespers on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, on the occasion of the 150th dies natalis of Saint Jean Marie Vianney, the Pope opened the Year of the Priesthood. The Holy Father's Letter announcing the Year of the Priesthood had been made public the day before, 18 June.
Sunday 21, Benedict XVI made a Pastoral Visit to San Giovanni Rotondo: first of all, at the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, on a private visit, he venerated the earthly remains of Saint Padre Pio; then in the square in front of the church of San Pio da Pietralcina, he celebrated Mass; in the afternoon he visited patients and medical staff at the Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza Hospital and finally had a meeting with local priests, men and women religious and young people in the church of San Pio da Pietralcina.
Sunday 28 June, the Holy Father presided the celebration of First Vespers of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul in the Papal Basilica of St Paul outside the Walls, on the occasion of the closing of the Year of St Paul.. Monday 29 June in St Peter's Basilica he presided a Eucharistic Celebration concelebrated by thirty four new Metropolitan Archbishops on whom he imposed the Pallium, hitherto preserved on the tomb of St Peter.
Special audiences this month included: 6 June: the Community of the Pontifical French Seminary; 13 June: members of the Centesimus Annus – Pro Pontifice Foundation; 20 June: the Council of the Alcide De Gasperi Foundation; 25 June: participants at a R.O.A.C.O. Meeting; 27 June: the Delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. This month the Pope received also: the Bishops of Venezuela, and the Bishops of Vietnam on ad limina visit; His Beatitude Ignace Youssif III Younan, Patriarch of Antioch of the Syrians, and the newly appointed Metropolitan Archbishops who received the Pallium on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.
We recall two appeals launched by Benedict XVI: Sunday 14, at the end of Angelus prayer, the Pope expressed the wish that the next UN Conference and other meetings of international institutions might reach common agreements in order to secure a better future for humanity, for food security and a dignified standard of living; and, at the end of the general audience on June 24, he called for the release of all hostages mentioning especially Italian born Eugenio Vagni, a Red Cross worker in the Philippines.