VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis visited retired Pope Benedict XVI at his Vatican residence June 30 to wish him a happy summer.
After a 30-minute visit from Pope Francis, the retired pope then headed off to the traditional papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo outside of Rome. It was the first time the retired pope returned to the villa since spending about two months there after he resigned in early 2013.
The 88-year-old retired pope is expected to remain at the summer villa just two weeks, until July 14. Before he resigned, Pope Benedict, like many of his predecessors since the early 1600s, spent a large portion of the summer months at the 135-acre papal villa to escape Rome’s oppressive heat.
Pope Francis, however, who — even as archbishop of Buenos Aires — is not known to take a full vacation, lightened his schedule just a bit for July.
He will still hold his Angelus prayer and address every Sunday; however, there will be no Wednesday general audience for all of July, said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman. The general audience will resume in August in the Vatican’s solar-powered and air-conditioned Paul VI hall.
For the month of July, all audiences with the pope are expected to be suspended — except a meeting with members of the Catholic charismatic renewal movement in St. Peter’s Square July 3.
Pope Francis will not invite groups of Catholics to his residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae, for his early morning Mass throughout July and August.
Despite the somewhat reduced schedule for July, the 78-year-old pope will visit Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay July 5-12, returning to the Vatican July 13.
He will visit at least seven cities and villages, whose altitudes range from 35 meters (116 feet) to 3,800 meters (12,500 feet) above sea level, and deliver 22 speeches, homilies and greetings. Millions of people are expected to attend the more than 37 scheduled events.
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
or by credit card: