.- Following Wednesday's general audience held in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, the Holy Father was given honorary citizenship to Introd, a village in the Italian region of Valle d'Aosta, where he has spent his summer vacations in the past.
“I am happy to learn from the mayor's address,” said the Pontiff, “that my presence in Valle d'Aosta, and earlier that of my beloved predecessor John Paul II, has favored a growth in the faith among the people there, who are dear to me and so rich in Christian tradition and in many signs of religious vitality.”
The Holy Father thanked Augusto Rollandin, president of the Autonomous Region of the Valle d'Aosta as well as the mayor of Introd, Osvaldo Naudin, and spoke of the “unforgettable periods of rest” he has experienced “surrounded by the splendor of the alpine panorama which favors the encounter with the Creator and restores the spirit.”
Pope Benedict also lauded the pastoral work of Bishop Giuseppe Anfossi of Aosta, which the Holy Father said is ever more important during this time in which “society nourishes illusions and false hopes, especially in the young generations, but which the Lord even today calls to become a 'family' of children of God who live with 'one heart and one soul.'”