Friday, February 28, 2014

One Year Ago Today....

...what had long been unthinkable came to pass – the Pope departed the Vatican, and left Peter's Chair behind:

"Thank you – thank you from my heart!

Dear friends, I'm happy to be with you, that I can see the Creator's beauty around us, and all the goodness you've given to me – thank you for your friendship and your affection!

You know that this day of mine hasn't been like those before. I'm no longer the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic church – at least, at 8 o'clock I won't be – now I'm just a pilgrim beginning the last part of his journey on earth.

With all my heart, with all my love, with my prayer and all my strength – with everything in me – I'd like to work for the common good of the church and all humanity. I feel your kindness so much.

Let us always move together toward the Lord for the good of the church and of the world. Thank you for bringing yourselves [here] – with all my heart, I give you my blessing….

Thank you and goodnight!"
And at 8pm on that incredible 28 February 2013, the Porta Centrale of Castel Gandolfo swung shut and the Swiss Guards stood down as the resignation of Benedict XVI took effect, and the Church of Rome fell vacant.