Pope pays brief visit to Castel Gandolfo

July 22, 2013

God wants people to be generous and merciful, not full of condemnation toward others, Pope Francis said.

"God always wants this: mercy, and not (people) going around condemning everyone," he said July 14 before praying the Angelus with pilgrims gathered outside the papal summer villa.

While most popes spend a portion of the hot Roman summer at the papal residence in Castel Gandolfo for vacation, Pope Francis continues to reside at the Vatican.

However, he decided to spend a day visiting the people of this hilltop town as well as the Vatican staff who work at the papal villa to thank them for their service.

Some 55 people work at the papal villa, about half of whom are gardeners and farmers who take care of the papal cows, chickens, bees and orchards, which produce milk, eggs, honey, olive oil, fruits and vegetables for use and sale at the Vatican.

The pope met with the villa staff and local authorities before praying the Angelus.