VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis “snuck” out of the Vatican Aug. 9 for a drive, a walk in the woods and lunch with an Italian bishop at a small convent.
Long after the pope had returned to the Vatican from two small towns near Rieti — about 50 miles northeast of Rome — the Vatican confirmed the pope had made a “private visit” to the area.
According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis was accompanied by Bishop Domenico Pompili of Rieti in his visits to a convent of the Sisters of the Reparation of the Holy Face in Carsoli and the Franciscan convent of St. Filippa Mareri in Borgo San Pietro.
A local newspaper, writing about the visit to Carsoli, said Pope Francis greeted each of the sisters before heading to their chapel to pray with them and Bishop Pompili. After the prayers, the pope and bishop went for a walk around the wooded, park-like property, returning for lunch at noon sharp.
“He tasted and appreciated all the dishes prepared by the sisters and complimented them,” according to the Aquila edition of the newspaper Il Centro.
St. John Paul II regularly left the Vatican unannounced. In his early years, he would spend an afternoon skiing or hiking. As he aged, he would go for picnics in the hills and visits to little churches and convents. Such private escapes seem to be much rarer for Pope Francis; at least, they have not been reported.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103