On the morning of Saturday, 23 February, at 11:30 a.m., Benedict XVI received in audience the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, accompanied by his wife. The farewell meeting was especially intense and cordial, given the great mutual respect and the now long-time familiarity between the two distinguished speakers.
President Napolitano expressed to the Pope the gratitude of the Italian people for his closeness through many crucial moments and for his great religious and moral teaching, and the affection that will accompany him in the years to come.
The Pope in his turn once again expressed to the President and his wife his gratitude for their friendship and his best wishes the good of Italy, especially in these days and this time of difficult choices.
St. Peter’s Square
Sept. 19, 2019
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