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Tuesday, September 27, 2005


VATICAN CITY, SEP 27, 2005 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon, in the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo, Benedict XVI bid farewell to Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano (the diocese in which Castelgandolfo is located), to religious communities, civil authorities, and to the security personnel charged with protecting him during his stay in the town.

  "Before returning to the Vatican," said the Pope, "I feel the need to express my gratitude to those who, over these summer months, have welcomed me and striven to make my stay a peaceful one."

  The Holy Father then addressed a cordial greeting to the Christian community of Castelgandolfo and to the diocese of Albano, as well as to their respective religious communities, expressing the hope that "they always work together to spread the love and joy of Christ everywhere."

  The Pope thanked the mayor, representatives of the local authorities "and the civic community which I have felt so close over this period." He also recalled how "the traditional hospitality of the inhabitants of Castelgandolfo is well known."

  Finally, Benedict XVI addressed medical personnel and staff of the Vatican Governorate, members of the Italian forces of law and order, the Vatican Gendarmerie and the Pontifical Swiss Guard, who "have ensured me and my collaborators a peaceful and tranquil sojourn in this beautiful place."
AC/FAREWELL/CASTELGANDOLFO                    VIS 20050927 (230)

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