Benedict XVI begins vacation, thanks faithful for friendship

.- Having arrived at Castel Gandolfo to begin his summer vacation, the Holy Father greeted those present from a window overlooking the square and thanked them for their friendship.

Pope Benedict XVI told those who had turned out for his arrival, "Dear friends, this evening my holidays begin and I'm happy to be with you, surrounded by the beauty of creation and of history, and of your sympathy and friendship. Thanks from my heart, I bless you all. Have a good night and a good week. Thanks for your presence and for your friendship."

The Pope's next public engagement is this Sunday's Angelus prayer. The Marian prayer will be recited every Sunday with those who join him in the square, and is the only public or private "audience" on his official schedule for the month.


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