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Pope begins summer vacation

CWN - July 04, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has begun his summer vacation, at the papal residence in Castel Gandolfo.

The Holy Father—who, earlier in his pontificate, took short summer vacations in the Italian Alps—has recently opted for the familiar surroundings of the apostolic palace in the hills south of Rome. Although the Pontiff will continue meeting with aides during his summer stay at Castel Gandolfo, his work schedule is more relaxed, allowing ample time for music, walks, and other forms of recreation.

During July Pope Benedict will not hold his regular weekly public audiences. These audiences will resume in August, with the Pontiff taking the quick helicopter flight to the Vatican each Wednesday for his midday appearance. On Sundays he will hold his regular Angelus audience in the courtyard of his summer residence.

During the summer weeks the Pope has only a few public events listed on his schedule. On July 9 he will visit the Ad Gentes Center in Nemi, administered by the Divine Word missionaries. On July 11, he will attend an orchestral concert held in his honor at Castel Gandolfo. And on July 15 he will celebrate Mass in nearby Frascati.

The July 9 visit to Nemi will have special relevance for Pope Benedict. In 1964 Nemi was the site where an “editorial committee,” consisting of experts working with the bishops at Vatican II, began drafting Ad Gentes, the Council’s statement on evangelization. One of the members of that committee was the young Father Joseph Ratzinger.

The Pope often takes unannounced day trips during his vacation, turning up without warning at villages near his summer residence.

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