Pope Benedict XVI said Wednesday his guardian angel failed to stop him falling and breaking his wrist recently because God wanted to make him humbler.
Taking his leave of this northern Italian mountain village where he has spent a summer break, the pope quipped to well-wishers: ''My guardian angel didn't prevent my mishap, certainly on orders from on high''.
''Perhaps the Lord wanted to teach me more patience and humility to give me more time for prayer and meditation,'' said the 82-year-old pope, who is expected to make a full recovery from his injury.
The pope posed with local authorities and police and thanked them for acting as ''guardian angels'' during his two-week stay.
Benedict leaves Les Combes Wednesday afternoon for his summer residence at Castelgandolfo south of Rome where he'll spend the rest of his holidays.
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