Category Archives: Pope Benedict XVI

Tour of Christian Rome (Part 3)

Et ego dico tibi quia tu es Petrus Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam et portae inferi non praevalebunt(And I say to you: you are Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it -Matt 16:18).

  1. Mass with Pope Benedict XVI
  2. Angelus with Pope Benedict outdoors in Piazza San Pietro noon local time

Unfortunately it has been many days since I have had the time to sit down and write here in Rome, but I am doing my best. Thank you for your patience. 

Pope Benedict XVI celebrates the 2011 Pentecost Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica

1) Imagine three days ago, you waited in line to receive your free tickets from the Swiss Guard to have the privilege of attending a Mass celebrated by the Vicar of Christ. Now it is time to go to Mass. You wait in line with 10,000 other pilgrims and make your way through the security line guarded by the Italian police. Upon entering St. Peter’s Basilica you notice that the Italian police no longer have any jurisdiction and the Swiss Guard take over security.

At 9AM, the bell tolls and a long procession of altar servers, priests, bishops, archbishops, and cardinals walk past you. Since our Holy Father is getting older, he now uses a moving platform to walk up and down the aisles of the world’s largest church.

The Vatican Choir is singing, composed of boys ages 9-12 and adult males. The most beautiful chants usually take place during the Gospel antiphon and during Communion. Listen to this recording of the Pentecost Sunday Gospel Acclamation which is sung every year(recorded in 1985).

Veni Sancte Spiritus reple tuorum corda fidelium et tui amoris in eis ignem accende

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of thy faithful, and kindle them in the fire of your love.

2) Angelus with Pope Benedict

After Mass, everyone rushes outside to get a good view of the Apostolic Palace. At 12 Noon, the Pope appears at the window and greets the people as they erupt in a loud applause. Yes, that tiny man is very high up, although only on the 4th floor. The Pope addresses the crowd of about 10,000 in five to seven languages and then says the traditional Angelus prayer before giving a final blessing and then retreating from the window.

Pope Benedict XVI on June 10, 2012 from his bedroom window.



Pope Benedict says return to what is sacred

Pope Benedict says return to what is sacred

The Virtual Roman tour will continue this weekend and end with Pope Benedict’s Angelus at 12Noon on Sunday.

Holding an outdoor Mass here in Rome at the Cathedral of the Diocese of Rome, San Giovanni Laterano, Pope Benedict XVI implored us to meditate on the sacredness of the Eucharist. He says that the disappearance of an understanding for what is sacred, “inevitably impoverishes culture” and risks leaving an open field for “many substitutes present in the society of consumerism, for other rites and other signs, which could more easily become idols”.



Pope’s Message on World Day of Prayer for Vocations

“The Lord is always calling,” but today we are distracted and “we are afraid to hear” the voice of God “because we think it might take away our freedom.” Those were Pope Benedict’s words at the Regina Coeli on Sunday as he invited people to have courage, in recognizing God’s voice.


Seven Years Ago Today – Habemus Papam (Part 2)

The 266th Pope of our One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, Benedict XVI, was elected our leader seven years ago today. At first, he was the Pope who was afraid to smile and uncomfortable around large crowds – both tough qualities for a Pope to live with. But now, he is more comfortable in his red Papal shoes.

When an older Pope is elected, he is usually classified as a transitional pope, one that fills the void between the reign of two younger popes. I reject that assessment as he has contributed so much to plant seeds of unity and both expand both the physical and spiritual growth of the Church. Let’s explore some of his milestones:

Work for Unity

The Church of England(Anglican Church, Episcopalian Church) broke away from the Roman Catholic Church during the reign of Henry VIII in the 16th century on political grounds. The crowned King of England would not submit himself to the authority of a foreign ruler, the Roman Pontiff. However, the new Church remained for the most part in line with Catholic doctrine. Recently, the Anglican Communion has been shifting farther to the left, including the ordination of gay and female bishops. Pope Benedict XVI, in recognizing the discontent of many traditional Anglicans, made it easier for entire parishes to convert to the Catholic faith and retain their own traditions. St. Luke’s in Maryland recently came into the communion of the Catholic Church.  The Anglican converts will even have their own bishop, called an ordinary, who will preside over all of the Anglican rite churches in his respective country rather than bringing these new parishes under the very Roman diocesan structure. Pope Benedict XVI even became the first Pope to ever visit the United Kingdom, and he prayed with the head of their Church in Westminster Cathedral. 

The Holy Father has also worked to reunite those inside the Church who were dissatisfied with Vatican Council II. He reaffirmed in 2007 that the Novus Ordo(Post Vatican Council II Mass) remains the ordinary form, but that the Tridentine Rite(traditional Latin rite) is valid and that priests may freely celebrate it. Since then, widespread interest of the traditional Mass has grown exponentially. Although it remains poorly attended, faithful from all across the globe who feel they can better grow spiritually under the old traditions can gather in small numbers at a variety of parishes and celebrate the Mass.

Going Forth as an Apostle of Jesus Christ

There has been a lot of talk in the media about Pope Benedict slowing down. Continue reading

Seven Years Ago Today, Habemus Papam (Part 1)

Seven years ago today, Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez took to the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica to announce “Habemus Papam” which is “We have a Pope!”

Fratelli e sorelle carissimi(Italian for: Dear brothers and sisters)

Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum(Latin for: I announce to you all a great joy)

Habemus Papam(We have a Pope!)

Eminentissimum ac reverendissimum Dominum, (The most eminent and reverend lord)

Dominum Iosephum(Lord Joseph)

Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalem Ratzinger(Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, Ratzinger)

Qui sibi nomen imposuit Benedictum XVI(Who takes for himself the name of Benedict 16th)

Who is this man?

He is a humble and brilliant man. Born in Germany in 1927, his childhood was anything but surrounded by peace. In fact, he may have partially chosen the name Benedict because Benedict XV was a strong advocate for peace during World War I.  He was forcefully conscripted into the Hitler Youth but often skipped meetings and once he was released he entered the seminary. His older brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, is also a priest. And his sister, Maria, passed away in 1991.

Pope Benedict can speak five languages plus Latin, and his personal book collection is said to contain 20,000 books. Furthermore, he can read and understand biblical Hebrew and Greek. He requested that Pope John Paul II allow him to retire quietly but he was denied permission. The Pope enjoys the piano and cats! His 85th birthday was earlier this week. I found a great link with much of this information on it, found here.

A second post will be published later on in the day that will explore Pope Benedict XVI’s accomplishments and key moments of his papacy thus far.



Happy 85th Birthday, Sancte Pater


His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI turns 85 today.


Urbi et Orbi Blessing from Pope Benedict

At 12Noon on Easter and Christmas Day, the Pope delivers the Urbi et Orbi(to the City and to the World) blessing. The actual blessing begins at minute 18:52 in the video.

Before the blessing, the Pope addressed the world and spoke on current human rights issues including those in Israel, Palestine, Syria, South Sudan, and the Great Lakes Region of Africa.

Plenary Indulgence: Those who are in a state of grace, meaning without mortal sin, are prayerfully granted a plenary indulgence, which is the remission of sins and time in purgatory. The word indulgence comes from Isiah 61:1 where in Latin is says “indulgentiam” meaning “release from captivity.” (Catholic Encyclopedia). It is NOT a permission to commit sin, and is not the evil and invalid indulgences as issued by corrupt officials in the Church many centuries ago.

Urbi et Orbi in English:
May the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, in whose power and authority we have confidence, intercede on our behalf to the Lord. -Amen

Through the prayers and merits of the Blessed Mary Continue reading