Happy 95th birthday, Pope Benedict XVI! If you’d like to send a message to the retired pontiff to help him celebrate his grand old age, you can — thanks to the Tagespost Foundation for Catholic Journalism!
The foundation has developed a website at which Catholics from all over the globe can leave a birthday message for the pope emeritus. Once the messages have been collected, they will then be shown to Benedict XVI.
Apparently the pope emeritus is already aware of these upcoming messages: “I know he is very happy about it,” shared his private secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein.
Remember, if you’d like to leave a message in a language other than English, Benedict XVI is also fluent in German, French, Italian, and Spanish. The polyglot also speaks some Portuguese and, unsurprisingly, he’s very familiar with the classical languages, too. So whether it’s ‘Joyeux Anniversaire,’ or ‘Felix sit natalis dies!’, we’re sure he’ll be delighted.
It’s also worth looking at the site to learn a little more about the 95-year-old, and see some of the moving messages and testimonies of faith that have already been left from prominent members of the clergy, as well as the Catholic faithful.
Interestingly, in his memoirs, Benedict XVI shared how he was born on the perfect day for a future pope:
I was born on Holy Saturday, April 16, 1927, in Marktl am Inn. The fact that the day of my birth was the last day of Holy Week and the eve of Easter has always been noted in our family history. This was connected with the fact that I was baptized immediately on the morning of the day I was born with the water that had just been blessed (At that time the solemn Easter Vigil was celebrated on the morning of Holy Saturday.) To be the first person baptized with the new water was seen as a significant act of Providence.
It seems particularly special that he celebrates his big 95th on this most holy of days that he arrived on all those decades ago!