Pope Benedict thinks his "guardian angel" was clearly acting "on superior orders" when he was allowed to fall and break his wrist earlier this month, news reports said.
The pope thanked law enforcement officials as he prepared to depart Les Combes, the Alpine resort where he tripped and injured his wrist on July 16.
He told the dozens of security officers, "Angels are invisible, but efficient at the same time. And you were the same invisible, but efficient," Catholic News Service reported.
"Unfortunately, my own guardian angel did not prevent my injury, certainly following superior orders," Benedict was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.
"Perhaps the Lord wanted to teach me more patience and humility, give me more time for prayer and meditation," he added.
A Vatican spokesman said this week the pontiff had stumbled on a leg of his bed while searching for the light switch in the unfamiliar holiday home bedroom. He fractured his right wrist. He had surgery at a local hospital on July 17 and spent the rest of his two week vacation in a cast.
Benedict had hoped to make progress on his book, Jesus of Nazareth. He had to settle for using a tape recorder to collect his thoughts instead of writing.
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Pope lightheartedly wonders what his guardian angel was doing (Catholic News Service)
Pope breaks wrist in fall, but recovering well