Pope Francis and members of the Roman Curia have arrived at the Casa Divin Maestro in the town of Arrica, just outside of Rome, where they will be taking part in their annual Spiritual Exercises for the beginning of Lent.

The retreat will be lead by Abbot Bernardo Francesco Maria Gianni, head of the Olivetan Abbey of San Miniato al Monte. His reflections will focus on the theme “The City of Ardent Desires: For Paschal Looks and Gestures in the Life of the World”.

During the period of the Spiritual Exercises, all audiences at the Vatican, including the General Audience on Wednesday, are suspended. The Spiritual Exercises conclude on Friday, 15 March.