Pope Francis went yesterday to the Papal residence of Castel Gandolfo where he spoke employees at the residence prior to speaking to thousands of the city’s residents outside for his Sunday Angelus address.
Also present to welcome the Holy Father was Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, Dr. Saverio Petrillo, director of the Pontifical Residence and Milva Monachesi, the mayor of Castel Gandolfo.
The Holy Father began by thanking the dignitaries who welcomed him and as well as expressing his gratitude to those who work at the Papal Residence.
“I have come here for the day to meet with the citizens of Castel Gandolfo, with the pilgrims and all of the visitors, who rightly love this place, they are enchanted by its beauty, they find occasion for rest here,” the Pope said.
“But I have also come to express to you, who work in the Pontifical Residence, my gratitude for your precious work. And with you I greet and thank your families, which in some way participate in your service to the Holy See. May the Lord assist you always, assist your work and your family life; may he fill you with his grace and accompany you in his paternal love.”
Addressing the Bishop Semeraro, Pope Francis conveyed is “affectionate thoughts” to the parish community of Castel Gandolfo as well as the religious communities in the area. The Holy Father also expressed his thanks to Mayor Monachesi for her work, as well as that of the municipal administration, on behald of the community.
“I ask you to convey my cordial greeting and the assurance of a remembrance in my prayers to the entire population, whom I encourage to be a sign of hope and peace, always attentive to persons and to families who are most in difficulty,” the Pope said. “This is important! We must always be a sign of hope and peace in this moment. Open the doors to hope, so that hope goes forward, and spread peace, always!”
The Pope reminisced on the time spent at the Papal summer residence by Blessed John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, saying that they “to spend the summer here.”
“Many of you were able to meet them and welcome them, treasuring a dear memory,” he added. “May their witness always be an encouragement to you in fidelity to Christ and in the continual effort to conduct a life consistent with the demands of the Gospel and the teachings of the Church.”
Concluding his address, the Holy Father entrusted those present to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, asking that through her intercession, they “might be able to carry out your duties in a profitable and serene manner.”