Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Maybe I should take a vacation . . .

Valle d'Aosta, Jul. 18 (CWNews.com) - Vacation time has become almost a "necessity" because of the pace of modern life, Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) remarked on Sunday, July 17.

The Holy Father, who is spending his own vacation in the Valle d'Aosta region of the Italian Alps, made one of the few scheduled public appearances of his summer break, to lead the Angelus and speak briefly with the faithful who gathered around the chalet where he is staying in the town of Les Combes.

His own vacation, the Pope reflected, is "a truly providential gift of God" after the busy first 90 days of his pontificate. He added that he was also sustained by the memory of Pope John Paul II (bio - news), "whose memory is still alive in the stupendous mountains of Valle d'Aosta," where the late Pope regularly vacationed.

The Pope said that for all people, a vacation offers time for "prayer, reading, and meditation on the profound meaning of life." This is enhanced, he said, by "the serene environment of one's own family and loved ones." A vacation break, he aid, "is almost a requirement, to be able to restore body and spirit, especially for city dwellers, where the often frenetic lifestyle leaves little time for silence, reflection or the soothing contact with nature."

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