The Holy Father said today that his guardian angel failed to stop him from falling and breaking his wrist recently because God wanted to make him humbler.

Taking his leave of the northern Italian mountain village where he has spent a summer break, Pope Benedict XVI quipped to well-wishers: “My guardian angel didn’t prevent my mishap, certainly on orders from on high,” the Italian news agency ANSA reports.

“Perhaps the Lord wanted to teach me more patience and humility to give me more time for prayer and meditation,” said the Holy Father, who is expected to make a full recovery from his injury.

ANSA says the Pope posed with local authorities and police and thanked them for acting as “guardian angels” during his two-week stay.

He leaves Les Combes within the next hour for his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo south of Rome, where he’ll spend the rest of his vacation.