29 JUNE 1951-2019
The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul
Congratulations, Prayers and Love
to our dearly beloved
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
on the occasion of the
of his Priestly Ordination
“Domineering over your faith is not my purpose. I prefer to work with you for your happiness”. It is what the Apostle Paul (II Cor 1,24) wrote and his quote was used 65 years ago on the celebration day of Peter and Paul Patron Saints – 29th June 1951 – during the priestly ordination of Joseph Ratzinger. It was held in the Cathedral of Freising and celebrated by Michael von Faulhaber, archbishop of Munich. Paul’s quote was written on the holy card in order to celebrate the event. This important anniversary will be marked by a solemn celebration in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace on 28th June. Pope Francis and the emeritus Pope Benedict XVI will attend the celebration. Joseph Ratzinger will receive a book on priesthood as a present.
“We were more than forty candidates and we all answered Adsum – that is “Here I am” – Ratzinger wrote in his Autobiography . It was a beautiful and unforgettable summer day, the most important moment in my life.” I shouldn’t be superstitious but while the old archbishop was laying his hands on me, a little bird – maybe a lark – raised from the high altar of the Cathedral and sang a short joyful song – I thought it was a voice from above saying: you are in the right way.” Ratzinger said.
His elder brother Georg was ordained with him. “The day of the first Mass the church of Saint Oswald was in its splendour and people showed us their joy and involvement. We had been asked t o bring the blessing of the first Mass to the town and we were welcomed everywhere. Everybody showed friendliness, even the people we didn’t know at all. I became aware of the expectations men and women have with a priest – they trust in his blessing and the power of the sacrament. It was not because of me or my brother = what did we mean to the people we met? They saw us as the men to whom Christ had given a task, that was to show His presence.”
“Priesthood is not “a job, but a sacrament. God asks a poor man to be like Him, to be with all men and women and to act on their behalf” said Benedict XVI on 11th June 2010, during the homily at the end of the Year for Priests, that he established on the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Mary Vianney, Saint Patron of Priests.