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Monday, July 19, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUL 17, 2004 (VIS) - This afternoon, before leaving for Castelgandolfo, the Pope said goodbye to the mayor and city officials of Introd and the security staff who looked after him during his 12-day vacation in Les Combes.

  John Paul II thanked the mayor and members of the city council for "having facilitated in different ways a peaceful stay in the mountains of Valle d'Aosta" and he assured them that he would "remember them especially in prayer."

  Addressing the State police, or "carabinieri," the forest rangers and the Vatican gendarmes, whom he called his "guardian angels," the Pope said that they had "looked after him during my stay in Valle d'Aosta with efficiency and discretion. For this, I thank you."

  "I have appreciated your service very much," he continued.  "I am conscious of all the sacrifices, efforts and hard work involved and I am aware that you carry it out with competence and generosity. May God reward you and assist you always with His heavenly protection."
AC/GOODBYE VACATIONS/LES COMBES           VIS 20040719 (190)

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