Pope Sends Letter to Forest Rangers

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 13, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI sent a letter to Italian forest rangers on the feast of their patron saint.

The Pope's letter, sent Thursday, went to retired Bishop Maffeo Ducoli of Belluno-Feltre, Italy, for the feast of St. John Gualbert.

Bishop Ducoli presided over a Mass attended by members of the forest rangers from the provincial headquarters of Belluno, Italy, in the church of the Virgin of the Snows at Pra Mirino.

That Mass, the Holy Father wrote in his letter, "has particular significance this year because it coincides with the 20th anniversary of the visit my predecessor John Paul II made to that church, so beloved by the inhabitants of this splendid region."

He continued: "This is an appropriate occasion for me to express my appreciation and affection for the forest rangers."

I am certain, Benedict XVI concluded "that they will seek to undertake their activities in a spirit of service," and "protect as best they can the riches of nature, which is a gift from God to everyone."