Thursday 18th October 2018

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A Salute To Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI On His 91st Birthday

April 20, 2018 Featured Today No Comments

(Editor’s Note: Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI quietly celebrated his 91st birthday on April 16. He spent the day in the Mater Ecclesia Monastery in the Vatican, where he lives. The material below comes from the Vatican’s websites.)

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The day of Joseph Ratzinger’s birth has been seen by some as a sign of Divine Providence. It was certainly a sign of things to come. The future Pope Benedict XVI was born on Holy Saturday, April 16, 1927. His birthplace is Marktl-am-Inn, a tiny village less than an hour’s walk away from Altoetting, the most important Marian Shrine in Bavaria.
1927 was the year Charles Lindbergh completed the first-ever solo flight across the Atlantic. The Pope in Rome was Pius XI — the successor to Pope Benedict XV.
As Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger celebrated his 85th birthday, his last as Pope, with a Mass in the Pauline Chapel in the Vatican. It was April 16, 2012.
He reflected on his long and eventful life in his homily, saying in part:
“The day I was baptized…was Holy Saturday. Then it was still customary to anticipate the Easter Vigil in the morning, which would still be followed by the darkness of Holy Saturday, without the Alleluia. It seems to me that this singular paradox, this singular anticipation of light in a day of darkness, could almost be an image of the history of our times. On the one hand, there is still the silence of God and his absence, but in the Resurrection of Christ there is already the anticipation of the ‘yes’ of God, and on the basis of this anticipation we live and, through the silence of God, we hear him speak, and through the darkness of his absence we glimpse his light.
“The anticipation of the Resurrection in the middle of an evolving history is the power that points out the way to us and helps us to go forward.
“Let us thank the good Lord for he has given us this light and let us pray to him so that it might endure forever. And on this day I have special cause to thank him and all those who have ever anew made me perceive the presence of the Lord, who have accompanied me so that I might never lose the light.
“I am now facing the last chapter of my life and I do not know what awaits me. I know, however, that the light of God exists, that he is Risen, that his light is stronger than any darkness, that the goodness of God is stronger than any evil in this world. And this helps me to go forward with certainty. May this help us to go forward, and at this moment I wholeheartedly thank all those who have continually helped me to perceive the ‘yes’ of God through their faith.”

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