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Pope John XXIII enjoyed occasional 'escape' from Vatican, aide reveals

April 02, 2014

A Vatican aide who served in the papal household under Pope John XXIII has disclosed that “Good Pope John” would occasionally make secret unscheduled trips out of the Vatican, driving around Rome and the vicinity.

Pope John XXIII would occasionally say that he needed to “escape,” and would leave without alerting the Swiss Guard. He made the same sort of impromptu forays while staying at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo. On at least one occasion he was recognized, and a large crowd formed around the car in which the Pontiff was traveling as he returned to the apostolic palace.


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