VATICAN CITY — This weekend marks the end of the Year of Faith, which Pope Benedict XVI established last year to encourage Catholics to study, profess and demonstrate their faith.
For those who want to follow the ceremonies online, here’s everything you’ll need to know:
- On Saturday at 4:30 pm Rome time (10:30 am EST), Pope Francis will preside over a Rite of Acceptance, a brief ceremony in which adults who had been inquiring about the Catholic faith officially become catechumens preparing for baptism.
- On the feast of Christ the King on Sunday at 10:30 am Rome time (4:30 am EST), Pope Francis will close the Year of Faith with Mass in St. Peter’s Square.
For the first time ever, the bones believed to be relics of St. Peter will be shown for public veneration during the Mass.
No pope has ever declared the bones to be authentic. However, after scientific tests were conducted on the bones in the 1950s and ’60s, Pope Paul VI said in 1968 that the “relics” of St. Peter had been “identified in a way which we can hold to be convincing.”
And at the end of Sunday’s ceremony, the pope will formally deliver an apostolic exhortation on the new evangelization, promoting what he calls a “culture of encounter” between Christ and humanity and among believers themselves.