VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI and his brother, along with the pope’s assistant secretary, quitely took off for the mountains last evening.
The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, reported today that the three went to the tiny town of Rosciolo di Magliano dei Marsi, home to the tiny romanesque Church of St. Mary. Built around 1080, it was connected to a Benedictine monastery that no longer exists. Along with the pastor and another priest, the pope and his little entourage recited the vespers for the feast of St. Clare, then went for a little walk on the mountain paths. The town is at an elevation of about 3,000 feet above sea level.
L’Osservatore reported that Pope Benedict, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger and Msgr. Alfred Xuereb returned to the papal villa at Castel Gandolfo shortly after 8:30 p.m.