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Benedict XVI Makes Excursion from Vatican to Visit Old Papal Retreat of Castel Gandolfo

Pope Emeritus Welcomed Invitation to Spend Afternoon and Evening in Castelli Romani

Benedict XVI yesterday, July 25, 2019, made a surprise excursion from the Vatican Gardens.

This morning in a brief statement, Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, responded to journalists’ inquiries, confirmed this, stating:”Archbishop Georg Ganswein,” the personal secretary to Benedict XVI and prefect of the papal household, “expressed to me this morning, that yesterday afternoon, at 4:15 pm, the Pope Emeritus went to the Castelli Romani.”

“First,” he noted, Benedict “went to Castel Gandolfo, with a pause in the gardens, and to the Belvedere for a walk and the recitation of the Rosary.”

Benedict, as Pope, always used to spend his summers at Castel Gandolfo.

“After, Benedict went to the Shrine of Our Lady del Tufo at Rocca di Papa and finally, together with Monsignor Raffaello Martinelli, to the Episcopal Curia of Frascati, where he stayed for dinner.”

“At 10:30 pm, he returned to the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery,” his residence in the Vatican gardens.

Monsignor Martinelli had invited the Pope Emeritus to make the visit and he had welcomed the invitation.


About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in four languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': or

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