VATICAN CITY, JAN 13, 2003 (VIS) - Officials of the 31st division of the Italian Air Force, who accompany the Pope on his trips outside Rome, were welcomed to the Vatican this morning by John Paul II who wished them a Happy New Year and thanked them for "the dedication and commitment with which you have for years facilitated the ministry of the Successor of Peter."
"In recent days," he said, "the liturgy has invited us to contemplate Jesus Who became man and came among us. He is the light that illuminates and gives meaning to our existence; He is the Redeemer who brings peace to the world. Let us welcome Him with trust and joy! The Blessed Virgin Mary who, as a thoughtful mother, presents Him to us, also watches over us. I invite you to turn to her at every moment and to entrust the just-begun year of 2004 to her."
AC/ITALIAN AIR FORCE/... VIS 20040113 (160)