Papal Farewell to Castel Gandolfo Staff

«The best way to remember each other is by prayer»

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CASTEL GANDOFLO, Italy, OCT. 1, 2012 ( Here is a translation of the brief address Benedict XVI gave Saturday upon taking leave of the staff and community at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.

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Dear brothers and sisters,

I am glad to welcome you at the end of my summer stay at Castel Gandolfo. It allowed me a period of study, prayer and relaxation, during which I noted with admiration the solicitude and the consideration of all the persons enlisted to provide help and hospitality to me and my collaborators, guests and pilgrims who come here to meet the Successor of Peter. I express my deep gratitude to each and every one for the dedication lavished [upon me] these past months. During the summer period Castel Gandolfo truly becomes a “second see” of the Bishop of Rome, which competes with the “first see” in its capacity to welcome visitors and pilgrims who have come to pray the Sunday Angelus or for the Wednesday General Audiences.

I greet with affection and gratitude first of all the Bishop of Albano, Monsignor Marcello Semeraro. I greet the parish priest of Castel Gandolfo and his collaborators, together with the religious and lay communities present here. I invite all of you to let me know of your spiritual closeness even after my departure as you did while I was here. I am grateful to you for this and I encourage you to pursue with confidence and joy your service to Christ and to his Gospel. I offer a cordial greeting to the civil authorities of Castel Gandolfo in the person of the mayor. As I thank you for the availability and solicitude that you have shown, I assure you that I will remember you in my prayer for your whole community, especially for the families in difficulty and the sick.

I also gladly offer my greeting to the officials of the services of the governorate: the gendarmes, the “Floreria,” the technical and health services; and the other groups that cooperated in particular ways in the careful oversight of all the events: the Pontifical Swiss Guard, the officials and agents of the Italian police forces and the officers and pilots of the 31st Air Force Wing. May the Lord grant you a recompense of abundant heavenly gifts, and protect you and your families.

Dear brothers and sisters, I thank you for your presence today at this gathering. The best way to remember each other is by prayer: I will not forget to pray for you and for your intentions, and I trust you will do likewise. To the Virgin Mary, whom we venerate in the month of October as Queen of the Holy Rosary, I entrust each of you, your families and friends. May she always accompany us with her loving gaze and guide our steps along the road of justice and truth. With these sentiments I bestow from my heart to each of you present here and to all your loved ones the apostolic blessing.

 [Translation by Joseph G. Trabbic]

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