.- Yesterday afternoon Benedict XVI visited the Palace of the Governorate, which houses various offices responsible for the administration and governance of Vatican City State.
After greeting Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, president of the Governorate, and members of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, the Pope expressed his thanks to the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums, a group that finances the maintenance and restoration of works of art held in the Vatican.
The Holy Father then addressed all the personnel of the Governorate saying: "Every day I am aware of and appreciate the fruits of your commitment and your competency, and I have come here to express my sincere thanks."
"The Governorate ... has an important function," he continued. "When my venerated predecessor Pius XI undertook the negotiations for the Lateran Pacts he was concerned to ensure that the Holy See could depend on just enough territory to guarantee it 'absolute independence for the fulfillment of its exalted mission in the world.'
"In accomplishing your duties," he added, "you ensure the continuance of daily life within the State and help the Pope undertake the ministry the Lord entrusted to him at the service of the Church and the world. It is not inappropriate, then, to describe you as 'the collaborators of the Pope'."
"You work in the Vatican, for and with the Pope," Benedict XVI went on. "You work in a place that has seen the witness of so many martyrs, in particular that of the Apostle Peter. This calls for ... competence, professionalism and dedication, as well as a serious commitment to evangelical witness. I rely upon you, and I ask you to grow every day in knowledge of the Christian faith, in friendship with God and in generous service to your brothers and sisters."
May the presence of the Church in your offices and workshops," he concluded, "be a daily reminder of the paternal gaze of God Who, in His providence, follows you and watches over each one of you."