The Mater Misericordiae convent is located in Villair di Quart. The Pope blessed the cornerstone in 1986 when he was on a pastoral visit to the Diocese of Aosta in this Alpine region.

Three years later, in 1989, when the Holy Father came for the first time to the Valle d'Aosta to spend his summer holidays, he inaugurated the convent. On Tuesday, the Pontiff returned for a visit.

Today, enjoying good weather, the Pope left the vacation chalet earlier than usual, at 10 a.m., to spend the day in the mountains.

As the word has spread that the Pope greets those who wait by the roadside on his return from his outings, the number of well-wishers has increased considerably. On Tuesday, 200 waited for him near the chalet where he's staying.

Vatican Radio said that one of the books John Paul II is reading during his holidays is on drama and literary criticism, in Polish.