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Papal Summer Residence, Castel Gandolfo
Thursday, 1st October 2009


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Having come to the end of my stay in Castel Gandolfo, I would like to renew to you my deep gratitude for the valuable hard work you carry out here, in the Pontifical Villas. I greet first of all the Director, Mr Saverio Petrillo, and thank him for the courteous words with which he has expressed your common sentiments; I then greet his collaborators and all of you who form the working team of this "appendix" of the Vatican. In these months I have been able to note personally the attention and promptness with which you carry out your daily work. My heartfelt thanks to you all!

I extend my thanks to your families that in a certain way participate in your service to the Holy See, accepting your availability which entails frequent absences from home, especially in the period of my stay at Castel Gandolfo. I ask the Lord to help you and your loved ones, filling you with his grace and accompanying you with his fatherly love.

Today we are celebrating the Memorial of St Thérèse of the Child Jesus who is commemorated by the Church especially because she intuited and described the profound truth of Love as the centre and heart of the Church, and lived this mystery intensely in her rather short life. Precisely because of the central position that her relationship with God assumed, her choice of love and the place she reserved for affection and sentiment on the spiritual journey, Thérèse of Lisieux is a very timely Saint, who is presented as a unique model and guide for all, young people and adults alike. I entrust you to her special protection so that you may carry out your work serenely and profitably. May the Blessed Virgin whom I trustingly invoke always watch over you and your families, while I assure you my remembrance in prayer and Bless you all with affection.


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