ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL II
Friday, 1 September 2000
Thank you for today's visit! The time has come for me to take my leave of Castel Gandolfo, and I am pleased to meet you before returning to the Vatican. I gladly extend my grateful and cordial greeting to each of you and, through you, to those whom you represent.
I am especially grateful to you, Mr Mayor, for your courtesy, for your kind words and for the sentiments you have expressed also on behalf of the Administration and the entire population of Castel Gandolfo, so dear to me. Each time I go back to the town, I appreciate the warmth of the people who express their spiritual closeness to me in so many ways and with many signs.
This summer too, I was able to experience the welcoming hospitality of your lovely little town to me and to those who work with me, as well as to my visitors. I would particularly like to thank you for all you did for the multitudes of young people who also came to Castel Gandolfo for the World Youth Day. I am sure that for you too, as well as for the entire ecclesial community, this important youth event will remain engraved on minds as a sign of hope and a powerful incentive to a courageous spiritual and moral renewal.
This evening I am returning to Rome, leaving you my cordial "farewell till next time". I carry you with me in prayer, commending your work and service to the town to the Lord. May God protect each of you and may Mary, Mother of Hope, support your projects of good with her motherly intercession. I also bless you cordially, as well as all your relatives and all the citizens and holidaymakers of Castel Gandolfo.
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