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Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo
Friday, 28 September 2012


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Everything in this world passes! Every thing that begins, even the most positive and beautiful thing, inevitably brings with it its own conclusion. So it is for the calm and peaceful period that I have spent here with you in the beautiful setting of Castel Gandolfo, where I was once again able to breath a family atmosphere of great warmth. Our meeting, that has now become a pleasant custom, gives me the opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your generous service in this Papal Residence.

I address a special and affectionate greeting first of all to Dr Saverio Petrillo, General Director of the Pontifical Villas, with my gratitude for his courteous words to me also on behalf of you who are present here. A fond greeting to all the employees and to their families. May the Lord, full of goodness, bless you and keep you in his love!

The month of September, now almost behind us, is always a positive period of revitalization after the summer holidays: for your children and young people school has begun again; for all of you work has resumed, busier and more demanding than ever. In the Church, too, for many Christian communities scattered throughout the world, what God the Father is giving us is the season of a new pastoral year that is beginning. Moreover we also see certain very important events at hand: I am thinking of my upcoming visit to Loreto, with which I wish to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the pilgrimage Blessed John XXIII made to this Marian Shrine to entrust to Mary the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council; I am thinking of the Synod of Bishops which will reflect on the New Evangelization today in the Church and in the world; and lastly — on the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of the Council — of the opening of the Year of Faith, which I have proclaimed to help every human being open his or her heart and life to the Lord Jesus and to his word of salvation.

I thus entrust to your prayers, dear friends, these important moments in the Church we are called to live out. May the Lord help us, that they may be a means to our growth in faith, to our rediscovering Jesus as the true and precious pearl, the treasure of our life. May the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church and our Mother, whom we shall confidently invoke during this coming month of October with the daily recitation of the Holy Rosary, always protect you and sustain you in carrying out all the good intentions you carry in your heart.

May my Blessing also be with you, which I impart with affection to each one of you, to your families and to all your loved ones, especially the sick and the suffering. [Blessing] Goodbye!



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