Catholic Chinese Faithful doing penance for Pope Francis I and for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. What great love and faith they have in God. May they see the Pope soon, and see open Masses for Catholics faithful to the True Catholic Faith in China who are faithful to the Pope; the visible Vicar of Christ, on earth. Such faith!!!
“Dear friends, I’m happy to be with you, surrounded by the beauty of creation and your well-wishes which do me such good. Thank you for your friendship, and your affection. You know this day is different for me than the preceding ones: I am no longer the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church, or I will be until 8 o’clock this evening and then no more.
I am simply a pilgrim beginning the last leg of his pilgrimage on this Earth. But I would still … thank you … I would still with my heart, with my love, with my prayers, with my reflection, and with all my inner strength, like to work for the common good and the good of the church and of humanity. I feel very supported by your sympathy.
Let us go forward with the Lord for the good of the church and the world. Thank you, I now wholeheartedly impart my blessing. Blessed be God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Good night! Thank you all!”
VISIT TO THE COMMUNITY OF SANT’EGIDIO’S
HOME FOR THE ELDERLY “VIVA GLI ANZIANI”
WORDS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
Rome, Monday 12 November 2012
“I come to you as Bishop of Rome, but also as an old man visiting his peers. It would be superfluous to say that I am well acquainted with the difficulties, problems and limitations of this age and I know that for many these difficulties are more acute due to the economic crisis. At times, at a certain age, one may look back nostalgically at the time of our youth when we were fresh and planning for the future. Thus at times our gaze is veiled by sadness, seeing this phase of life as the time of sunset. This morning, addressing all the elderly in spirit, although I am aware of the difficulties that our age entails I would like to tell you with deep conviction: it is beautiful to be old! At every phase of life it is necessary to be able to discover the presence and blessing of the Lord and the riches they bring. We must never let ourselves be imprisoned by sorrow! We have received the gift of longevity. Living is beautiful even at our age, despite some “aches and pains” and a few limitations. In our faces may there always be the joy of feeling loved by God and not sadness.
In the Bible longevity is considered a blessing of God; today this blessing is widespread and must be seen as a gift to appreciate and to make the most of. And yet frequently society dominated by the logic of efficiency and gain does not accept it as such: on the contrary it frequently rejects it, viewing the elderly as non-productive or useless. All too often we hear about the suffering of those who are marginalized, who live far from home or in loneliness. I think there should be greater commitment, starting with families and public institutions, to ensure that the elderly be able to stay in their own homes. The wisdom of life, of which we are bearers, is a great wealth. The quality of a society, I mean of a civilization, is also judged by how it treats elderly people and by the place it gives them in community life. Those who make room for the elderly make room for life! Those who welcome the elderly welcome life! … When life becomes frail, in the years of old age, it never loses its value and its dignity: each one of us, at any stage of life, is wanted and loved by God, each one is important and necessary.
Dear friends, at our age we often experience the need of the help of others; and this also happens to the Pope. In the Gospel we read that Jesus told the Apostle Peter: “when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go” (Jn 21:18). The Lord was referring to the way in which the Apostle was to witness to his faith to the point of martyrdom, but this sentence makes us think about that fact that the need for help is a condition of the elderly. I would like to ask you to seek in this too a gift of the Lord, because being sustained and accompanied, feeling the affection of others is a grace! This is important in every stage of life: no one can live alone and without help; the human being is relational. And in this case I see, with pleasure, that all those who help and all those who are helped form one family, whose lifeblood is love.
Dear elderly brothers and sisters, the days sometimes seem long and empty, with difficulties, few engagements and few meetings; never feel down at heart: you are a wealth for society, even in suffering and sickness. And this phase of life is also a gift for deepening the relationship with God…. Do not forget that one of the valuable resources you possess is the essential one of prayer: become interceders with God, praying with faith and with constancy. Pray for the Church, and pray for me, for the needs of the world, for the poor, so that there may be no more violence in the world. The prayers of the elderly can protect the world, helping it, perhaps more effectively than collective anxiety. Today I would like to entrust to your prayers the good of the Church and peace in the world. The Pope loves you and relies on all of you! May you feel beloved by God and know how to bring a ray of God’s love to this society of ours, often so individualistic and so efficiency-oriented. And God will always be with you and with all those who support you with their affection and their help.”
“Among you, among the College of Cardinals, there is also the future Pope, to whom, here today, I already promise my unconditional reverence and obedience.”
“The church, which is mother and teacher, calls on all its members to renew their spirit, turn back firmly toward God and ignore pride and egoism to live in love,” Pope Benedict said.
At Castle Gandolfo, Benedict XVI gave his final blessing, three hours before he vacated his seat, as Pope.
As of 8pm Rome Time, the Seat of Peter is Vacant.
FINAL NOTE FROM: LA TIMES Article
“New evidence is emerging of Benedict’s declining physical condition. Peter Seewald, a German journalist who has interviewed Benedict on numerous occasions, said that when he last saw the pope 10 weeks ago, his hearing had deteriorated and he appeared to have gone blind in his left eye.
“His body had become so thin that the tailors had difficulty in keeping up with newly fitted clothes. … I’d never seen him so exhausted-looking, so worn down,” he told Focus, a German magazine, on Saturday.
Seewald quoted the Pope as saying: “I’m an old man and the strength is ebbing. I think what I’ve done is enough.” Asked if he was considering retiring, Benedict replied, “That depends on how much my physical strength will force me to that.”
***One thing that hasn’t changed is His Holiness Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI’s Great Trust, Love and Faith in GOD.