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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 November 2006, 12:49 GMT
Pope to star in his own calendar
By Christian Fraser
BBC News, Rome

The Pope poses at Castel Gandolfo for a 2007 calendar
The Vatican has revealed one photo but kept the rest under wraps
Pope Benedict XVI is to become the first pontiff to feature in his own official calendar.

The Vatican has given its blessing to a 2007 edition which will be published later this month.

The production, called Together - One Year With The Pope, features 14 different images of the Pope at his lakeside residence, Castel Gandolfo.

Some 800,000 copies will go on sale, with part of the proceeds going to a charity in Rwanda.

The Pope has been identified as a fan of finery in the past, wearing red Prada shoes.

Now you will see a new Pope every month, say the advertisements.

African solidarity

The 79-year-old appears dressed in traditional white - but aside from the publicity shot that has been released, the other pictures have been kept under close guard.

The calendar will be sold with the November issue of the weekly Catholic magazine Famiglia Cristiana.

It will cost five euros over the cover price of the magazine.

Part of the proceeds will go to a charity chosen by the Pope in Rwanda. Called Nazareth Town, it is a home run by the Catholic Church for orphaned street children.

It is the second time in a week that the Pope has shown his solidarity with children in Africa.

On Tuesday, he bought into a one-billion-bond issue that will fund life-saving vaccines for children in poor countries.


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