It is customary for the Pope on apostolic trips to send telegrams to the leaders of the countries he will fly over en route to his destination.
The Pope has just left for South Korea. Below is a translation of the telegram he sent to the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, upon leaving Italian territory:
TO HIS EXCELLENCY
HON. GIORGIO NAPOLITANO
PRESIDENT OF THE ITALIAN REPUBLIC
PALACE OF QUIRINALE
As I leave Rome to go to Korea to support the mission of the local Church and to bring a message of hope to the entire population, it is my pleasure to direct to you, Mr. President, my respectful greeting, which I join with my fervent wishes for the Italian people’s spiritual, civil, and social well-being and upon whom I willingly send my apostolic blessing.
FRANCISCUS PP.[Translation by ZENIT]