LES COMBES, Italy, JULY 13, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is spending his vacation accompanied by his closest aides — and a piano, which enables him to relax with his favorite pastime: music.
Staying with the Pope in the small village of Les Combes, in the Italian Alps, are his personal secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein; the papal chamber assistant, Angelo Gugel; and two lay consecrated women who usually look after the Pontiff.
The rest of the papal entourage, including spokesman Joaquín Navarro Valls, is staying in an adjacent Salesian house, now called the “John Paul II Alpine Residence.”
These details were reported by Salvatore Mazza, who is covering the papal holiday for Vatican Radio and the Italian newspaper Avvenire.
The Holy Father’s brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, has yet to arrive. According to Mazza, he might visit his younger brother the Pope at the end of July in Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer residence near Rome.
The Alpine chalet of wood and stone, where Benedict XVI is staying, has not been altered since Pope John Paul II stayed there.
The only change is the presence of a piano, placed by the chalet’s Salesian administrator, Claudio Marango, so that Benedict XVI can enjoy his favorite pastime.
On Monday and Tuesday, the Holy Father alternated his times of prayer and work with walks in the property where the chalet is located.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, archbishop of Genoa, who for years was secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Benedict XVI) was its prefect, arrived today to lunch with the Holy Father.