Can you say how he passes his days and what changes there are with respect to the timetable of the Vatican?Elsewhere in the interview, Mgr Gänswein mentions that the little walks include the recitation of the Rosary. We also know that the "holiday" also includes various addresses and encounters with local Bishops, priests and people. Mgr Gänswein describes how the people are often a little tongue-tied and it is the Holy Father who "breaks the ice" and that he continues to be a little surprised at the attention and affection that is shown to him. Although he acknowledges this warmly, it is clear from his manner that he intends to use it in order to help people to direct their thoughts to Christ.
The day is well structured; some elements coincide with the customs of the Vatican and other are clearly different. Every day begins with holy Mass, followed by thanksgiving, the breviary and meditation. Then there is breakfast and afterwards the Holy Father gives himself to reading, study, writing and meditation. At one o’clock there is lunch and immediately afterwards, the Pope has a short walk in the park around the house. A beautiful path has been prepared in the woods which surround the residence with a simple chapel-hut, a statue of our Lady sculpted by a forest ranger, wooden benches, and lovely vases of flowers of geraniums round about. After a rest, the Holy Father returns to his books, to manuscripts, to study, to prayer and to the piano. Now and again he also listens to a CD of classical music. Around 6pm, Benedict XVI goes out for a walk in the woods or around the nearby lakes. At 7.30pm he has supper, then he watches the TV news and after a last walk in the area of the house, he retires.
Thursday, 26 July 2007
The Holy Father's holiday
Andrea Tornielli of Il Giornale has an interview with Mgr George Gänswein, the personal secretary of the Holy Father. The interview is in Italian. Rorate Caeli: News from Cadore has translated a section of the interview concerned with Summorum Pontificum. I thought you might like to read Mgr Gänswein's description of the usual timetable of the day on the Pope's holiday. Reading it makes me feel that the Holy Father is setting a very good example to me as a priest (my own translation):