Following is the text of Pope John Paul II's farewell remarks at Andrews Air Force Base last night, before he began his return flight to Rome:

My dear friends in America, and my brothers and sisters in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As I leave this capital city of Washington, I wish to express my gratitude to the president of the United States and to all the religious and civil authorities of this country.

My thoughts turn likewise to all the American people: to all Catholics, Protestants and Jews, and to all men and women of good will; to people of every ethnic origin, and in particular to the descendants of the first inhabitants of this land, the American Indians; to all of you whom I have greeted personally; those who have been close to me through the providential media of press, radio and television; those who have opened their hearts to me in so many ways. Your hospitality has been warm and filled with love, and I am grateful for all your kindnesses.

I believe strongly in the message of hope that I have held up to you, in the justice and love and truth that I have extolled, and in the peace that I have asked the Lord to give to all of you.

And now I must leave the United States and return to Rome. But all of you will constantly be remembered in my prayers, which I look upon as the best expression of my loyalty and friendship.

Today, therefore, my final prayer is this: that God will bless America, so that she may increasingly become -- and truly be -- and long remain -- "One Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

God bless America.

God bless America.