CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, JULY 22, 2011 (Zenit.org).- During his summer vacation, Benedict XVI is writing his third volume of "Jesus of Nazareth," preparing for his apostolic trips to Spain and Germany, and looking forward to the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.
For the second consecutive year, the Holy Father is spending his vacation in Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer residence located some 15 miles south of Rome, as there he can count on a known environment adapted to his life's passion: study and writing on theological questions.
The Pontiff has brought many books and documents with him to prepare for his trips to Madrid for World Youth Day (August 18-21), and to his native Germany (Sept. 22-25), where he will visit Berlin, Erfurt, Etzelsbach and Fribourg.
The semi-official Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano confirmed today that his "priority commitment is to prepare the writing of the conclusion of his work on Jesus of Nazareth, dedicated to an analysis of the Gospels on Christ's childhood."
It is the third volume of "Jesus of Nazareth," which has enjoyed international success with its first two installments, which were published in 2007 and earlier this year.
The Vatican daily revealed that the Pope is working on another topic, which is of great interest to him: "reflection on faith, as the 50th anniversary approaches of the opening of Vatican II (October 11, 1962), in which Joseph Ratzinger took part from the beginning."
Benedict XVI's interest in the theological virtue of faith is significant, as he has already dedicated two encyclicals to the other two theological virtues, charity and hope: "Deus Caritas Est" (2005) and "Spe Salvi" (2007).
In addition to the time dedicated to study and writing, the Bishop of Rome is spending his days in prayer, enjoyment of nature and rest.
At the same time, he continues to attend to the government of the Church with working meetings, in particular with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of state, and other prelates, and receiving a limited number of visitors.
In general, in the afternoons he walks in the gardens of the papal residence, accompanied by his private secretary, Msgr. Georg Ganswein, which usually end with the recitation of a Marian prayer before an image of the Virgin.