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Pope too busy to take an Easter holiday

Despite the marathon of Holy Week celebrations, Pope John Paul II has decided not to take a break.

This week he will return to his ordinary schedule in Rome, including the traditional Wednesday general audience.

Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls confirmed the news in a press statement.

In previous years, the Holy Father spent Easter Week at his Castel Gandolfo residence outside Rome. This year, he is spending only yesterday and today at the residence.

He arrived at Castel Gandolfo yesterday morning. At midday he will prayed the Regina Coeli with pilgrims. He will return tomorrow to his full schedule in Rome, including preparations for his May and June trips to Greece, Syria and Ukraine, and for the 21-24 May consistory of cardinals.