Catholic World News (CWN)

Catholic World News (CWN): "Pope John Paul enjoyed sleeping under the stars, bodyguard discloses

May. 29, 2007 ( - Pope John Paul II (bio - news) enjoyed slipping away from Rome for visits to the Italian countryside, sometimes sleeping on the ground outdoors to enjoy the open air, according to a story in the Irish Independent.

General Enrico Marinelli, the former Vatican security chief, described the Pope's secret trips to Italy's Frosinone province, where the Pontiff would take long hikes and stay in an isolated cottage. At times, Marinelli said, the Pope would sleep under the stars-- to the consternation of his security detail.

The late Pope's love for hiking and camping was well known, but his occasional forays into the countryside were not disclosed while he was alive. The closest advisers to John Paul II have revealed that in the early years of his pontificate he would sometimes make unannounced trips to the mountains, concealing his identity so that he could hike or ski without being noticed."

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