Fr. Raymond J. de Souza: How the Liturgical Calendar Framed Pope Benedict’s Life

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Pope Benedict XVI on Aug. 28, 2010. Credit: L'Osservatore Romano

COMMENTARY: His Holy Saturday life ended on Dec. 31 — what might this secular and liturgical date suggest to us in God’s providence?

Father Raymond J. de Souza is the founding editor of Convivium magazine.


Father Raymond J. de SouzaA life shaped by the sacred liturgy began with a birthday — April 16, 1927 — coinciding with a liturgical date, Holy Saturday. Benedict XVI’s last birthday, in 2022, his 95th, was also a Holy Saturday.

“I have always been filled with thanksgiving for having had my life immersed in this way in the Easter mystery, since this could only be a sign of blessing,” Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote in his 1998 memoirs, Milestones.

“To be sure, it was not Easter Sunday but Holy Saturday, but, the more I reflect on it, the more this seems to be fitting for the nature of our human life: We are still awaiting Easter; we are still not standing in the full light, but walking toward it in full trust.” …

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