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What's the Pope doing this summer? Check it out

2015-07-23

Traditionally Popes limit their public engagements during July and August. They often retreat to Castel Gandolfo, which is about 15 miles from the Vatican and is an ideal place to avoid the harsh summer heat in Rome. 

Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI often went there to rest. But Pope Francis is a bit different. He likes to stay at the Vatican.

FR. GUILLERMO KARCHER
Pontifical Ceremonies
"He rests in his own way. But he doesn't go on vacation if that's the fundamental question. He doesn't understand the concept of vacation and he sympathizes with many people, especially these days, who can't go on vacation, so this should also be taken into account.”

In fact, Pope Francis hasn't spent a single night in Castel Gandolfo, not even after an exhausting trip to Latin America. His aids say that the trip didn't seem to take a toll. 

FR. GUILLERMO KARCHER
Pontifical Ceremonies
"I moved over to him, I got close and asked, 'How are you?' And he was working. In Italian we would say 'fresco e pimpante.' That is, he really feels splendid, fit, and unfazed by the time change, or the temperature, or the long hours on planes."


The Pope will resume his general audiences in August and in September he is expected to resume his full schedule. In the meantime, he will spend a good portion of his time seeing people in private and preparing for his next commitments, especially his trip to Cuba and the United States



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