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Hall of the Swiss
Saturday, 30 September 2006


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

My stay at the Summer Residence of Castel Gandolfo is coming to an end, and before I return to the Vatican I would like to thank everyone very warmly who contributed in various ways to making my stay fruitful and serene.

I am therefore happy to meet you all today and I offer my grateful greeting to each one of you.

I greet first of all the Bishop of Albano, Bishop Marcello Semeraro, and I am grateful to him for the consideration he always shows me. I greet the Parish Priest of Castel Gandolfo and the Parish Community.

I address an affectionate greeting to the Jesuits of the Vatican Observatory and to the Religious and lay Communities, male and female, who are present in Castel Gandolfo. In these months, I have felt their spiritual closeness and I thank them from my heart, trusting in the hope that they may all respond with renewed generosity to God's call, expending their energies at the service of the Gospel.

My deferential thoughts then go to Mr Mayor, the Administration and the Municipal Council. Through him, I would like to convey my greeting to all the citizens of Castel Gandolfo, who show their consideration to me in so many ways, and to all who are spending the summer months with me in Castel Gandolfo.

Moreover, the people of Castel Gandolfo are well known for their courtesy and for the hospitality they offer to the many pilgrims and visitors who come to pay a visit to the Pope, especially for the Sunday appointment of the Angelus.

I address my grateful appreciation and an affectionate greeting to the medical personnel and staff of the various Services of the Governorate, who certainly guaranteed their presence by making many sacrifices as well as with their competent service.

I greet with esteem the officials and agents of the Italian Police Forces, who cooperate efficiently with the Gendarmerie of the Vatican and the Pontifical Swiss Guard so as to assure my colleagues and myself a peaceful and safe stay, as well as the orderly access of visitors and pilgrims to the Apostolic Palace.

Furthermore, I cannot forget the officials and airmen of the 31st Squadron of the Italian Air Force who kindly take charge of my helicopter journeys.

My deepest gratitude goes to each and every one of you, which I confirm with the assurance of my constant remembrance in prayer for each one of you, dear friends, for your relatives and for your loved ones.

Today, Saturday, dedicated to Our Lady, I invoke her motherly protection upon each one of you as I thank you once again for your prayers and express to each one of you my warm good wishes for every desired good, for your work and for your projects.

With these wishes and as a pledge of abundant heavenly favours, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing to you and to your loved ones.


© Copyright 2006 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana