The Vatican has announced that the Conclave to elect a new Pope, will begin on Tuesday, March 12th. This came after the meeting of Cardinals this evening in Rome.
According to the Vatican News Agency:
The eighth General Congregation of the College of Cardinals meeting in the Vatican Synod Hall Friday [March 08, 2013] has decided that the Conclave for the election of the Pope will begin on Tuesday, 12 March 2013.
A “pro eligendo Romano Pontifice” Mass will be celebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica in the morning. Then Tuesday afternoon the 115 Cardinal Electors will gather in the Pauline Chapel for a moment of collection and prayer and from there they will process in order of precedence through the Sala Regia to the Sistine Chapel invoking the Holy Spirit.
There they will take their seats, again observing the order of precedence, to elect the 265th Successor to St Peter. Once they have taken their seats they will hear the second meditation established by the Apostolic Constitution governing the papal transitions. It will be given by the Maltese Augustinian, Cardinal Prospero Grech.
Following the mediation, the 115 cardinals will swear an oath to observe the rules of Conclave which include to maintain fidelity to the election of the Pope, to maintain secrecy, never to support or favour interference. The Cardinal Dean Angelo Sodano, reads aloud the formula of the oath, the Cardinal electors respond: I do so promise, pledge and swear… <<< Read full text here…
A friend shared this prayer on my Facebook wall. I’ll only add an Amen!
PRAYER FOR THE ELECTION OF A NEW POPE
Lord Jesus Christ,
You are the Good Shepherd,
And you never leave your flock untended.
You gave your life that we may live,
And you appoint shepherds after your own heart, to lead your people by
word and example;
and to likewise give of themselves.
We thank you for the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI,
And for his service to the Church and the world.
We ask that you now give him a fruitful period
of rest and prayer, of gratitude and praise.
We ask you, Lord Jesus, with the Father,
to send the Holy Spirit on the Church once again.
In particular, guide the Cardinals who will shortly exercise
the sacred duty of electing a new Pope.
Guide their deliberations and decisions
with divine wisdom and insight.
Even now, Lord Jesus, give to the new Pope,
whom you have already chosen,
an abundance of holiness and strength,
To carry out the mission you have entrusted to him.
May your Word reign supreme in his life,
And may his every word and action point the Church to You,
The Supreme and Eternal Shepherd,
For you live and reign forever and ever. Amen.