The annual Lenten Spiritual Exercises of the Pope and the Roman Curia are due to begin 21 February, the first Sunday of Lent. This year's meditations will be directed by the Salesian priest, Fr Enrico Dal Covolo.
The theme of the spiritual exercises, which will take place in the Redemptoris Mater Chapel of the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, is: 'The Lessons of God and the Church on the priestly vocation'.
The retreat will begin at 6pm with Eucharistic exposition, the celebration of Vespers, an introductory meditation, adoration and Eucharistic blessing. Over the following days there will be the celebration of Lauds and meditation at 9am; celebration of Terce and meditation at 10.15am; meditation at 5pm; and Vespers, adoration and Eucharistic blessing at 5.45pm.
The spiritual exercises will end at 9am on Saturday, 27 February, with the celebration of Lauds and a closing meditation.
During the retreat all audiences will be cancelled, including the weekly general audience of Wednesday 24 February.