POPE Francis’ schedule for summer 2014 is almost an exact duplicate of the schedule he kept in 2013, except he will be making an August trip to South Korea for Asian Youth Day. Last year, he travelled to Brazil in July for World Youth Day.
Publishing information about the Pope’s summer plans on June 14, the Vatican said that as in 2013, Pope Francis would not invite groups of Catholics to his residence for his early-morning Mass in July and August.
The Vatican also said that while he would not hold his weekly general audience on the Wednesdays of July, the Pope did plan to hold the gatherings at the Vatican in August, except when he was in South Korea from August 13-18. In 2013, the general audiences were suspended in both July and August.
Last year, Pope Francis broke the papal tradition of spending much of the northern summer at the papal villa at Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome, but he did travel to the town on July 14 for a Sunday Angelus and August 15 for the feast of the Assumption. The Vatican notes on the Pope’s 2014 summer schedule did not mention the villa at all. Except when he was in South Korea, it said, he would lead the recitation of the Angelus on Sundays at the Vatican.
After the Vatican published the 2014 summer schedule, some news reports expressed concern about the Pope’s health, particularly since he postponed several meetings in early June to rest after his trip to the Holy Land and his prayer for peace meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The reports did not note that the 77-year-old pope’s 2014 summer plans were similar to the schedule he kept last year.