00 5/1/2009 3:48 PM


The Czech bishops conference has opened an English-language site for the papal visit in September.


Although no official announcement has been made, the site banner indicates that the Pope will be visiting Prague, Brno and Stara Boleslaw.

All the material posted here today comes from the site.
[My thanks to Maklara who is keeping us abreast of the preparations in Prague.]


The motto and logo of the papal visit express its theme and spirit, as well as the general Christian attitude.

The motto is: 'Love of Christ is our strength'.

Christianity doesn't push itself by power, it doesn't struggle for gaining dominance over anyone. It respects the freedom of every person, but it is strong and firm, in trying to win over evil through the power of love.

The logo expresses that we are bearers of the tradition of Prince Wenceslaus (represented by the heraldic symbol of the eagle), patron saint of the Czech nation, who promoted Christian values.

We stand by his flag as a sign of our nation's spiritual life. The flag's spear is directed upwards, to permanent values and noble aims, and it bears the colours of the Czech Republic (blue - red - white) and of the Vatican (gold - white), because the journey is also a state visit, with the Czech nation welcoming one of the most important persons in the world, the leader of the Catholic Church.


The commemorative medal will be a present to VIP guests as well as a valuable souvenir for visitors. It is available in gold or silver (both 0.999 purity).

It was designed by Daniela Kartáková (born 1965), a well-known sculptor, conservator and medalist, who also designed the commemorative medal for John Paul II's 2005 visit to the Czech Republic. She also has a home in Carrara, Italy, site of one of the world's best marble quarries.

The front features a portrait of Benedict XVI with his Latin name, and the Vatican coat-of-arms. The back depicst St. Wenceslas, based on the Gothic statue of the saint by Petr Parléř in the Prague cathedral. The inscription gives the year of teh visit and the names of the three cities to be visited by the Pope.

More information on the medal is available at the website about the medal, www.medaile-benediktxvi.cz (CZ), where it may also be ordered.

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 5/3/2009 11:00 PM]