Pope's Farewell to Castel Gandolfo

The Lord «Does Not Leave Those Who Trust Him Without Help»

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 29, 2011 (Zenit.org). Here is a translation of the farewell address Benedict XVI gave today as he prepares to leave the summer papal residence at Castel Gandolfo.

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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The summer season that I customarily spend in this kind and hospitable location so dear to me is drawing to a close this year. This summer also, Castel Gandolfo opened its doors to many pilgrims and visitors who arrived to meet with the Pope and pray with him, especially on Sundays for the usual Angelus appointment and so many times for the Wednesday general audiences. Over these months I have been able to admire, once again, the solicitude and generous work of so many persons committed to guaranteeing the necessary assistance to me and my collaborators, as well as to the visitors and pilgrims who come to visit me. For all this I wish to express my profound gratitude to each one of you, who have made possible a very tranquil stay.

I greet with fraternal affection, above all, the bishop of Albano Laziale, Marcello Semerare, whom I thank for the kindness with which he treats me. I greet the parish priest and the parish community of Castel Gandolfo, in addition to the religious communities and the laity, masculine and feminine, present in the territory. During these months I have felt their spiritual closeness and I thank them from my heart, promising everyone to correspond with renewed generosity to the call of God, employing my own energies at the service of the Gospel.

I address a deferent greeting to the lord mayor and to the components of the municipal administration. Thank you for your care and for all that you did for me and my collaborators during these months. Through you, dear public administrators, I thank and greet all the citizens, with a special remembrance for elderly and sick persons, to whom I affectionately assure my remembrance in prayer.

I now address the directors and collaborators of the different services of the Governorate: the Gendarmerie Corps, the florists, the technical services, the health services as well as the Papal Swiss Guard. Dear friends, I express my sincere esteem and great appreciation for the work you did daily, guaranteeing assistance and security in the whole Apostolic Palace and in the Papal Villas. I thank the officers and agents of the various Italian Forces of Order for their assiduous collaboration as well as the officers and pilots of the 31st Wing of the Air Force. If everything proceeds in tranquility and serenity, it is due above all to your presence and your qualified service.

Dear brothers and sisters, I express to all my most sincere gratitude. Thank you again for your presence at this meeting, especially those who have made themselves spokesmen of your sentiments. I assure you, for my part, that I will not fail to pray for each one of you and for all your intentions and I ask you to remember me in your prayers. May the Lord, rich in kindness and mercy, who does not leave those who trust Him without help, be always your firm support. May the Virgin Mary, who in the month of October we will invoke in a special way with the recitation of the rosary, watch over you with maternal protection. May she accompany you and your families at all times. With these sentiments I bless you affectionately and also your families and loved ones. Thank you.

[Translation by ZENIT]
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