|Vatican||POPE'S PUTTING UP SOME YOUNG PEOPLE AT HIS SUMMER VILLA|
With as many as a million young people headed to Rome this month for a weeklong prayer festival, even Pope John Paul II is taking in some house guests.|
The pontiff told pilgrims gathered at his summer villa on Sunday that in addition to the many Italian families who have offered to host some of the youths coming for World Youth Day, "I, too, here at Castel Gandolfo will have the joy of putting up some of them."
About 15 people will be chosen by organisers of the event to stay in the pope's summer residence, located southeast of Rome in the hilltown of Castel Gandolfo, said a Vatican spokesman, Fr Ciro Benedettini.
Their nationalities, ages or names were not available, and "not even the pope knows who they are yet," Benedettini added.
The Holy Father had earlier appealed to parishes to open their doors to those needing a place to stay for the week of prayer and religion. The event's highlight is the pontiff joining followers in a night vigil on 19 August and a Mass the following day 20 on the outskirts of Rome.
"The pope wanted to give an example" of hospitality, said the spokesman.