29-September-2012 -- Vatican Information Service |

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Benedict XVI Takes His Leave Of Castelgandolfo

Vatican City, 29 September 2012 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon Benedict XVI bid farewell to the staff of the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo where, as he does every year, he has spent the summer months.

"Everything in this world is transitory", said the Pope. "All things that begin, even the most positive and beautiful things, inevitably encapsulate their own conclusion. So it is for the serene and peaceful time I have spent with you in the beautiful setting of Castelgandolfo where, once again, I have been able to breathe a cordial family atmosphere. ... My affectionate greetings go to all the staff and their families".

The Holy Father went on: "The month of September, which is now behind us, is always a time for restarting after the summer holidays. For your children school has opened, for all of you more intense and assiduous work has begun again. In the Church too, for many Christian communities throughout the world, what God the Father gives us is the time of a new pastoral year which begins. Certain significant events are now upon us: I am thinking of my imminent visit to Loreto by which I wish to recall the fiftieth anniversary of Blessed John XXIII's pilgrimage there during which he entrusted Vatican Council II to the Virgin; I am thinking of the Synod of Bishops which will reflect on new evangelisation in the world and finally of the opening - on the fiftieth anniversary of Vatican Council II - of the Year of Faith which I have called in order to help all men and women open their hearts and lives to the Lord Jesus and the Word of salvation.

"Thus to your prayers, dear friends, do I entrust these important ecclesial events we are called to experience", the Pope added. "May the Virgin Mary, the Church's Mother and ours, whom we trustingly invoke during the month of October with the daily recitation of the Rosary, protect you always", he concluded.

This morning the Holy Father likewise bid farewell to representatives of the civil and religious authorities of Castelgandolfo. The time spent there, he told them "has allowed me to enjoy a period of study, prayer and rest. ... During the summer Castelgandolfo is transformed into a 'second see' of the Bishop of Rome, which competes with the 'first' in its capacity to welcome the visitors and pilgrims who come to pray the Angelus or to attend the Wednesday general audiences".

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