Pope on vacation looks rested

 Pope John Paul II looked slightly tanned and refreshed when he joined visitors for the Angelus on Sunday at the papal summer villa in Castel Gandolfo to say the Angelus. For several years he has greeted visitors from his balcony. This time, using a cane and assisted by his personal secretary, Bishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, the Pope walked into the courtyard for his weekly general audience. The crowd cheered he appeared in a doorway and waved his cane. For months he has not taken more than a few steps in public. In his Angelus address, Pope John Paul encouraged others to do what he was doing: taking a holiday for "physical and spiritual renewal." He wished all those on holiday "a serene and beneficial rest for the body and the spirit" and remembered especially those who do not have the possibility to take a vacation. "I am thinking especially about those who are in jail or in the hospital, or those who are alone at home. I want to assure them of my spiritual closeness, while I hope that they do not lack necessary help provided by friends. In addition, I express my appreciation for those, who with authentic human and Christian spirit, dedicate themselves to helping people in need, the sick and those who find themselves in difficulty." The Pope recalled that Sunday was the feast day of St Camillus, patron of the sick and their care-takers. He "consecrated himself totally to God", he said, and "founded a new order: Ministers of the Sick, later called 'Camilians.' They wear a big red cross on their chest, sown to their habit, to remind themselves and everyone that Christ is the divine doctor, the true saviour of humanity." After greeting pilgrims in different languages, the Holy Father concluded by asking the Virgin to intercede "for the up-coming World Youth Day, so that it may be a rich experience of faith and of Christian commitment for the young people who gather in Toronto."

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