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Thursday, September 29, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 29 SEP 2011 (VIS) - Today in the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo, Benedict XVI made his traditional farewells to the local civil and religious authorities prior to returning to the Vatican later this week.

"Over these months", he told his audience, "we have once again had the opportunity to admire the solicitude and generosity of the many people who provide vital assistance to me and my collaborators, as well as to the guests and pilgrims who come here to visit me. For all of this I wish to express my deep recognition to each and every one of you, who have worked to ensure my stay here was peaceful and serene".

"For my part", he concluded, "I will not fail to pray for each of you and for all your intentions, at the same time asking you to remember me in your prayers. May the Lord, rich in goodness and mercy Who never fails to give His aid to those who trust in Him, be your support".

Yesterday afternoon Benedict XVI bid farewell to staff who work at the Pontifical Villas in Castelgandolfo, thanking them for their efforts on his behalf during the period he had spent there.

"Here in this place", he said, "we live in constant contact with nature, and in an atmosphere of silence. I am happy to have this occasion to recall that both these things bring us closer to God: nature, because it is the masterpiece which emerged from the Creator's hands; silence, because it allows us to think and meditate without distraction upon what is essential to our lives. ... In a place like this it is easier to find ourselves, to listen to the inner voice, what I would call the presence of God which gives profound meaning to our lives".

The Pope concluded by thanking the staff of the Pontifical Villas for their prayers. "Christians stand out of their prayers and charity. ... Our relationship with the Lord in prayer nourishes our spirit and allows us to be increasingly generous and open in our charity towards those in need".
AC/ VIS 20110929 (360)

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