Pope on Vacation in the Month of July

No Audiences but Yes the Angelus

Pope Vacation July
© Vatican Media

As happens every year, Pope Francis will be on vacation in the month of July. No General Audiences with pilgrims will be held or official audiences in the Vatican. However, he will lead the Angelus on Sundays in St. Peter’s Square.

Yesterday, during the last General Audience before his break, the Bishop of Rome hoped that “this summer period will be an opportunity to deepen one’s relationship with God and to follow Him more freely on the way of His Commandments.”

During this month, the Holy Father reduces his activities, which means no trips and only a few public appearances, in order to spend more time on activities in the Vatican. He will stay in Casa Santa Marta where he resides. Exceptionally, today, July 1, 2021, the Holy Father presided over the Day of Reflection and Prayer for Lebanon entitled “The Lord God has Plans of Peace. Together for Lebanon,” with Christian leaders from around the world.

He Will Remain in His “Habitat”

 The Pontiff’s desire to stay in the Vatican throughout his summer rest is something traditional in his pontificate. During the press conference on the return flight from Korea in August of 2014, he explained this fact and talked about his rest. “I always take a vacation — truly! –, but in my ‘habitat’: I change my rhythm. I sleep more, read what I like, listen to music, pray more . . . and so I rest. I have done this in July and part of August, and it has been good for me.”

It’s a custom he already practiced as Cardinal in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In fact, he himself said: “the last time I went on vacation, with the Community of Jesuits, outside Buenos Aires, was in 1975.”

Casa Santa Marta and Castel Gandolfo

 Casa Santa Marta is a building that was built between 1992 and 1996, during Saint John Paul II’s pontificate. Today it lodges Cardinals, when a Conclave is convoked, as well as Bishops, priests, and laymen that visit the Vatican temporarily.

So, after being elected Pope, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio did not go to the Apostolic Palace but decided to stay in the Casa where he was a guest during the Conclave. The reason, as the Holy See spokesman Father Federico Lombardi pointed out in 2013, was that he preferred this “simple way of living and living together with other priests.”

Moreover, in addition to not going to Castel Gandolfo, the Pontiffs’ summer residence, Pope Francis decided to open it as a museum in 2016. Now, after being closed given the coronavirus, the building can be visited by tourists again.

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester