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Friday, 20 July 2001


My summer holiday in Val d'Aosta is now drawing to a close and I am glad to have this meeting with you, who have assured the various services:  the Inspectorate of Public Security of the Vatican, the State Police, the Carabinieri, the Customs Officers, the Prison Guard, the Forest Guard of the Region and the Security Guard of Vatican City. I heartily thank you because all of you, according to your different competencies, have contributed to guarantee, once again, a peaceful and serene stay for me and for my collaborators.

Although it was short, this holiday among the enchanting mountains of the Val d'Aosta has been beneficial. I have enjoyed intensely the peace and pleasantness of these attractive places. I hope that you too, despite your work to fulfil your duties, have received some benefit from it.

I am thinking at this moment of your families, which the demands of service made you leave for a while. I assure you of my prayers for them, so that they may always be harmonious, firmly-grounded in human and Christian values and delighted by good and generous children. I pray especially for your loved ones who, because of age or illness, are perhaps experiencing a difficult time.

Once again, thank you all very much! May the Lord reward your diligent service. May the Blessed Virgin watch over you and over your relatives, and be with you always. With these sentiments I impart my blessing to you all, as a pledge of peace and spiritual joy.


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