Just three days after his 78th birthday, Joseph Ratzinger was elected to the Chair of Peter on April 19, 2005.
On this 17th anniversary of his election as pope, we share some of our favorites from the archives.
Looking to Life
Now at age 95, the Pope Emeritus is naturally focused on his final preparations for Heaven. Just a few weeks ago, in the midst of his responses to the investigation on abuse in the Archdiocese of Munich, he shared how he is looking toward his meeting with the Creator, and it can’t help but console us as we await that moment in our own lives.
Death hit close to home for the Emeritus Pope when his beloved brother and fellow priest passed away in the summer of 2020. Have a tissue handy as you read this sweet farewell.
While on the topic of death, have you ever read — straight from an encyclical — the Pope Emeritus’ incredibly clear teaching on purgatory?
But, don’t think that there’s anything gloomy about Pope Ratzinger being focused on the end of his life. He knows this will be an encounter with the God he’s lived for, and his day-to-day is anything but sad.
Did you know?
Most devotees of the Pope Emeritus are aware that he is a great lover of music and a musician himself. Did you know that he even thinks music is a proof for Christianity? Check this out:
And while we are did-you-knowing, consider this: It’s Benedict’s Successor who comes to many minds when we speak of caring for the environment, but actually Francis is simply following in Benedict’s footsteps.
Most people are aware that the Pope Emeritus is considered one of the greatest minds of the Church in the last many years, or maybe in all of its 2,000 years. And that can lead people to presume that it’s hard to read Benedict’s writings. In fact, though, as anyone who’s picked up one of his dozens of books, or read a papal encyclical, homily or even general audience, the man is quite easy to understand and follow. He’s a natural-born teacher and can lead just about anyone through incredibly complex trains of thoughts. Give him a chance and you’ll see what we mean!
But, he’s not always about carefully-constructed paragraphs. Meme-worthy Benedict is a thing too:
And finally …
and just because, how about this one:
Happy Anniversary Pope Emeritus Benedict!