Benedict, the Rosary, and Prayer

Tomorrow is the first anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s renunciation of the papacy, and already there are a lot of retrospectives, analyses, and other articles being published about it, especially in the Italian press. I have a post that will be going up tomorrow at 11:46am Rome time – the exact moment in which he announced his resignation on February 11, 2013 – and I will certainly be posting some other things about it in the coming days.

But I wanted to share now this tidbit from an interview that Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Director of the Holy See’s Press Office, gave today to Vatican Radio. The following is my translation of one of the questions and answers:

Q: Pope Benedict bid farewell underlining the fact that he would continue to serve the Church with prayer: Isn’t it true that this is a truly extraordinary service that he gave and continues to give still?

A: Yes… in this regard, I share a little personal memory: Especially at the beginning of the pontificate, every time I had an audience with the Pope or stopped by to greet him, he customarily gave me a Rosary; it is common in these meetings that an image, a Rosary, or a medal is given. And every time the Pope gave me a Rosary he would say, “Even priests must remember to pray”. Well, I have never forgotten this because it showed, in a very simple way, his conviction and his attention to the place of prayer in our lives – even, and particularly, in the lives of those who have roles of responsibility in the Lord’s service. Benedict XVI certainly has always been a man of prayer, throughout his life, and probably desired to have some time in which to live this dimension of prayer with greater space, totality, and profundity. And now is his time.

Pope Benedict XVI gives me a rosary at an audience on January 26, 2012. Bishop David Foley, who ordained me a deacon, looks on with his customary smile.

Pray the Rosary – even daily!

Here are my previous posts on the rosary.

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