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Pope Francis

Complete program of pope's trip to Fatima on May 12-13

March 20, 2017. The Vatican has published Pope Francis' program for his upcoming trip to Fatima.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017

March 18, 2017. In response to the invitation from the President of the Republic, the Bishops of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Grand Imam of the Mosque of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayyib, Pope Francis will make an Apostolic trip to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017, visiting the city of Cairo. The programme of the trip will be published shortly.
Pope Francis

Pope to meet with most powerful European leaders on March 24

March 3, 2017. On March 24 a historic meeting will take place between the pope and many of the most powerful heads of government throughout Europe. The meeting was announced by the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Greg Burke and will begin at 6 p.m. in the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

The town and monastery where Benedict XVI will retire

2013-02-28

Only about 8,000 people live here and the Pope's summer residence is a key part of the town. In fact just a few feet away from the Papal Palace is this local ice cream shop, where John Paul II and Benedict XVI have ordered from.
 
STEFANO VERUSI
Gelateria Carosi

"Benedict XVI would order ice cream for some of his visitors. Personally he liked the 'Fior de Latte' flavor and also vanilla.”

Benedict XVI spent his first summer here as Pope,  back in 2005 to avoid Rome's intense summer heat. He  would spend those months studying, reading and even writing books. The tradition itself goes back generations. The first Pope to use the summer residence in Castel Gandolfo was Urban VIII Barberini back in 1626.

The Papal residence also has a World War II connection. Since the Vatican was a neutral country, Pope Pius XII opened Castel Gandolfo, where about 12,000 Jews sought refuge. During that time the papal apartment was reserved for pregnant mothers to give birth.  At least 40 babies were born there.

Now Castel Gandolfo will become part of modern history as it welcomes a retired Pope.

LINDA

 "For us he will always be The Holy Father. He was elected the Holy Father, so at least here he will continue to have that title. We will still refer to him as Pope.”

Eventually Benedict XVI will return to the Vatican. He will live in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, along with the so called 'Papal Family' that has accompanied him throughout this pontificate.

The building is undergoing repairs, but it's quite simple. The monastery was built in the 90's under the pontificate of John Paul II, so that contemplative nuns would have a place for retreat and prayer, inside Vatican Walls.

Now, 85 year old Benedict XVI will retire here to, as he says, serve the Church in prayer.

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