John Paul II to Vacation in Italian Alps

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 27, 2004 ( John Paul II plans to spend his vacation this year in the Aosta Valley in the Italian Alps.

During the Pope's July 5-17 vacation, "all private audiences will be suspended," said a message issued Saturday by the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household.

Afterward, the Holy Father plans to return directly to the papal residence at Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome, where he will spend the rest of the summer. There he will give his Sunday Angelus addresses and hold his Wednesday general audiences.

The Vatican press office said that John Paul II will visit the shrine at Lourdes, France, on Aug. 14-15.