VATICAN CITY, JUL 9, 2006 (VIS) - Following the Eucharistic celebration for families, the Holy Father travelled by popemobile from Valencia's City of Arts and Sciences to the airport of Manises, where the departure ceremony took place. Over the ten-kilometer journey, thousands of persons lining the route had the opportunity to greet the Holy Father.
At the airport, after a greeting from King Juan Carlos of Spain, Benedict XVI thanked everyone for the "kind hospitality and evident affection" shown him during his brief visit to Valencia.
The Holy Father expressed his hope that "with the help of the Most High and the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary, this meeting will keep echoing like a joyful song of the love, life and faith shared by families, and help today's world to understand that the marriage covenant, whereby man and woman establish a permanent bond, is a great good for all humanity."
He also thanked the thousands of pilgrims from all continents who had accompanied him over the two days of his apostolic trip to Spain. "You have a special place in my heart," he said.
The Pope's aircraft took off at 1 p.m. and arrived at Rome's Ciampino airport at 3 p.m. From there the Pope travelled by helicopter to Vatican City.
PV-SPAIN/DEPARTURE/VALENCIA VIS 20060710 (220)