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Pope Offers Post-Vacation Advice

August 30, 1998

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (AP) _ Pope John Paul II on Sunday offered a prescription against post-vacation blues for those heading back to work or school.

``I try to imagine what passes through the spirit of one who comes back after a period of relaxation, perhaps long desired and now already over,″ the pope told tourists and pilgrims at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, in the hills southeast of Rome.

John Paul said a sense of disappointment may accompany those returning to ``daily reality, with its concreteness, its problems, its heaviness.″

``All this can also be depressing. But there’s an antidote against depression,″ the pope said. ``Keep in your heart a great ideal, of authentic values which give sense to your own life.″

John Paul himself appeared relaxed. When someone in the crowd yelled, ``There has never been such a likable and capable pope,″ John Paul joked, ``for some likable, for others, unpleasant; there’s nothing to do about that.″

Except for shuttling back to Vatican City for his Wednesday public audiences, the pope will stay at his vacation retreat here until mid-September.

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