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    For the First Time in Decades the Pope Holds Spiritual Lent Retreat Outside the Vatican

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    On Sunday, the Pope began his annual spiritual exercises for Lent where he will be accompanied advisers and contributors to delve into topics such as the roots of the faith and battling evil.

    Francisco departed at 16:00 local (15:00 GMT)time aboard a bus along with his companions of the Roman curia to travel the 30 kilometers that separate Ariccia from Rome, the municipality where these spiritual meetings take place.

    Ariccia is a small village between Lake Albano and Lake Nemi,with little more than 18,000 inhabitants who settled between the hills and away from the bustling capital of Italy. It is also a favorable place for thought and meditation.

    For this reason, Pope Francisco will take this week their agenda and not hold public or private hearings.

    This is the first time in decades that the retreat has been held outside of the Vatican.  The Pope believes that having spiritual retreats in a different location inspires detachment and appreciation.

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