Before leaving Castel Gandolfo at the end of my summer stay, I wish to express to you - who make up, so to speak, the Pope's summer family - my gratitude for the work you do here and, in a particular way, to congratulate you on the spirit that inspires your service.
I thank the Director, Dr Saverio Petrillo, for the kind words and sentiments he expressed to me on behalf of everyone. I am also pleased to renew my gratitude for the skill and care that he, together with the entire staff, devotes to the Palace and Papal Villas. May God reward each of you with abundant graces and watch over you and your families.
Thank you for accompanying me again this summer with your prayer and your long hours of work.
You have always been close to me, and I am grateful for this.
Dear friends, continue to offer this daily witness to your faith. Wherever Providence has placed us, we are called to show that we belong to Christ, and to demonstrate with simplicity and joy that we place all our trust in him, man's only Saviour.
May the Blessed Virgin confirm these wishes; may the Lord grant each of you happy and holy days; may the Holy Spirit enrich your families with his gifts. I cordially bless you all.
Castel Gandolfo, 28 september 1999
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