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March 12, 2014

Remembering Last Days of Benedict XVI and the Sede Vacante


“The Church is in the world but not of the world and it is a living body,” therefore it is not an institution designed and conceived according to pre-set plans, but is of God. -Benedict XVI speaking to the Cardinals for the last time as pope full text below

The process of transition to a new pope was lived through by all the members of the church and we have now passed one year with our new Pope Francis and a Pope emeritus Benedict XVI. I wish today to remember with gratitude our beloved Benedict XVI, now known as "pontiff emeritus,"  who after leaving the Vatican spent the next few weeks at the hilltop Castel Gandolfo until the new Pope had taken office and now resides in a former convent in the Vatican gardens, he said before he left office that he would live out his days "hidden from the world" in prayer and isolation. He has been photographed only a few times since then.

Indeed, he is far from the world but he is present in the Church. His mission now, as he once said, is to help the Church and his successor, Pope Francis, through prayer. This is his first and most important task.

Benedict XVI 
Last Words and Blessing 
 as Pope from Castel Gandolfo

"Thank you, thank you all! Dear friends I am happy to be with you...your friendship does me a lot of good....Thank you for your friendship and affection...I am not any longer the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church- until 8pm I am, but then, no longer. I am simply a pilgrim who is beginning his last stage of pilgrimage on this earth. I would still like to, with my heart, love, prayer, and reflection, with all my interior strength, work for the common good, for the good of the Church and of humanity, and I feel very sustained by your love. Let us go ahead together with the Lord for the good of the Church and of the world. Grazie! I extend to you now, with all my heart, my blessing....grazie! Good night! Thank you all!  
Fr. Federico Lombardi said that His symbolic Fisherman's Ring and papal seal will  likely be "destroyed" by means of making scratch marks so that they can no longer be used to seal documents. 

Benedict XVI First Pope to Tweet Ended Pontificate  With 3 Million Twitter Followers 
Benedict's final  Twitter tweet was sent at 11 a.m. ET from his @Pontifex account, and read: "Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the centre of your lives."

The nine @pontifex Twitter accounts reached over three million followers just before 8 pm on Thursday, when the accounts were officially made inactive as the Sede Vacante started. The account will remain dormant until the next pope decides whether he wants to use it, the Vatican said. 

 Benedict XVI Gives
Last Talk to the Cardinals
Who will elect the new pope
Dear beloved brothers,

I welcome you all with great joy and cordially greet each one of you. I thank Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who as always, has been able to convey the sentiments of the College, Cor ad cor loquitur. Thank you, Your Eminence from my heart.

And referring to the disciples of Emmaus, I would like to say to you all that it has also been a joy for me to walk with you over the years in light of the presence of the Risen Lord. As I said yesterday, in front of thousands of people who filled St. Peter's Square, your closeness, your advice, have been a great help to me in my ministry.

In these 8 years we have experienced in faith beautiful moments of radiant light in the Churches’ journey along with times when clouds have darkened the sky. We have tried to serve Christ and his Church with deep and total love which is the soul of our ministry.
We have gifted hope that comes from Christ alone, and which alone can illuminate our path. Together we can thank the Lord who has helped us grow in communion, to pray to together, to help you to continue to grow in this deep unity so that the College of Cardinals is like an orchestra, where diversity, an expression of the universal Church, always contributes to a superior harmony of concord

I would like to leave you with a simple thought that is close to my heart, a thought on the Church, Her mystery, which is for all of us, we can say, the reason and the passion of our lives. I am helped by an expression of Romano Guardini’s, written in the year in which the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council approved the Constitution Lumen Gentium, his last with a personal dedication to me, so the words of this book are particularly dear to me .

Guardini says: "The Church is not an institution devised and built at table, but a living reality. She lives along the course of time by transforming Herself, like any living being, yet Her nature remains the same. At Her heart is Christ."

This was our experience yesterday, I think, in the square. We could see that the Church is a living body, animated by the Holy Spirit, and truly lives by the power of God, She is in the world but not of the world. She is of God, of Christ, of the Spirit, as we saw yesterday.

This is why another eloquent expression of Guardini’s is also true: "The Church is awakening in souls." The Church lives, grows and awakens in those souls which like the Virgin Mary accept and conceive the Word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. They offer to God their flesh and in their own poverty and humility become capable of giving birth to Christ in the world today.

Cardinal Burke speaks with Benedict XVI  photo by
Through the Church the mystery of the Incarnation remains present forever. Christ continues to walk through all times in all places. Let us remain united, dear brothers, to this mystery, in prayer, especially in daily Eucharist, and thus serve the Church and all humanity. This is our joy that no one can take from us.

Prior to bidding farewell to each of you personally, I want to tell you that I will continue to be close to you in prayer, especially in the next few days, so that you may all be fully docile to the action of the Holy Spirit in election of the new Pope. May the Lord show you what is willed by Him. And among you, among the College of Cardinals, there is also the future Pope, to whom, here to today, I already promise my unconditional reverence and obedience. For all this, with affection and gratitude, I cordially impart upon you my Apostolic Blessing"  (From Vatican Radio)

Gatias, Grazie, Thank You, Benedict XVI
We pray for you and our new Pope Francis
Ora pro nobis, Pray for us!

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