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Tuesday, September 28, 2004


VATICAN CITY, SEP 28, 2004 (VIS) - As is tradition before leaving his summer residence in Castelgandolfo and returning to the Vatican, this morning the Pope thanked the mayor and officials of the city, as well as the security staff for their service throughout his stay.

  The Holy Father said that after having spent some "peaceful and restful" days, he was now returning to the Vatican, "comforted by your spiritual closeness and prayer. For this, I sincerely thank you, also on behalf of my collaborators."

  Later, when addressing the police officers and carabineri, John Paul II expressed his "esteem and appreciation for the generous and faithful service in keeping order and security. I thank you for having contributed to my serene and peaceful stay in this beautiful town. I hope you will always be witnesses to the values of justice, loyalty and a spirit of sacrifice which find their deepest source in love for God and for one's neighbor."

  The Pope is scheduled to return to Rome tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.
AC/GOODBYE CASTELGANDOLFO/…                    VIS 20040928 (180)

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