Benedict XVI says he’s ‘on pilgrimage home’

In letter to Italian newspaper, retired pontiff says: “It's a great grace for me to be surrounded in this last piece of the road, which is at times a bit tiring, by a love and goodness that I could never have imagined”

Benedict XVI

In a rare new letter penned by Benedict XVI, the retired pontiff said he is in the last phase of his life, and while his physical strength might be waning, he is surrounded by a “love and goodness” that he never imagined.

“I can only say that at the end of a slow decline in physical strength, inwardly I am on pilgrimage home,” Benedict XVI said in the letter, published Feb. 7 in Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

He said that “it’s a great grace for me to be to be surrounded in this last piece of the road, which is at times a bit tiring, by a love and goodness that I could never have imagined.”

Benedict addressed the letter to Italian journalist Massimo Franco of Corriere della Sera, who was charged with the task of presenting the retired pontiff with letters expressing concern and asking about his well-being five years after resigning from the papacy.

In his letter, published Feb. 7 on the front page of Corriere della Sera, Benedict said he was moved that so many readers from the paper “want to know how I’ve spent this last period of my life.”

He said he considers the questions and concerns of the readers part of the love he has experienced, and sees them as “an accompaniment” on the last phase of his life.

“Because of this,” he said, “I cannot but be thankful, on my part assuring you all of my prayers. Best regards.”

Full story at Catholic News Agency.

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Comments

  1. I wish he hadn’t resigned.

  2. God be with him as he travels the final stretch of the road…that all of us will travel to our end. Undoubtedly, he will be declared a saint someday.

  3. Oh, how I miss this man with his ermine collar so many made fun of, as it reminded me of the Good St. Nicholas and Father Christmas, and St. King Wincelaus with his good heart and fur coat. Even if it were real ermine, I am sure it will be passed on for others to enjoy and ermines are not going extinct. They are farmed.

    As Patrick Buchanan said, “He is a good German shepherd, not a rottweiler.” God bless you, Emeritus Pope Benedict. I have enjoyed your books immensely.

  4. What would be good prayers for him?

  5. Santo Padre,
    Buon viaggio. Thank you for showing us all how it is done. If you don’t mind, I will not cry at your departure because I will be rejoicing at your arrival.

  6. ” But according to members of the Pope’s Commission for the Protection of Minors, a delegation was sent to Rome in April 2015 in order to specifically hand-deliver a letter to the pontiff about Barros. Several members of the commission met with Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Francis’ top abuse adviser, voicing their concerns about the pontiff’s appointment of Barros as a bishop in southern Chile, and gave him the letter to deliver to Francis.

  7. I would suggest prayers asking the intercession of St’s. Joseph, Aloisius and Benedict of Nursia since those are some of his patron saints, and they have many prayers to them for those who are older and more closer to death.

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