Pope Francis will not leave Rome for annual Lenten retreat

Pope Francis participates in the traditional spiritual exercises every year at the start of the Lenten season. The Pauline priests at the Casa Divin Maestro in the town of Ariccia usually host the retreat.

Every year, the pope joins other prelates and priests of the Curia on the bus ride to the retreat house.

Last year however, a cold obligated him to stay at the Vatican. Now, for the second consecutive year, he will not travel to Ariccia. Instead, he will lead the spiritual exercises from his residence, Casa Santa Marta.

Pope Francis encourages members of the Curia, especially cardinals and leaders of different Vatican departments, to observe a week of prayer from Feb. 21 to 26.

The pope suspends his usual engagements during this period, including General Audiences.



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