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Over at The Last Papist Standing, we are reminded that today is the sixth anniversary of the election of our dearly beloved Pope Benedict XVI:

And what a day that was! I remember it well. I was living in Rome at the time, finishing my studies at the Angelicum. It was a Saturday morning, and I decided to walk down to Saint Peter’s Square. When I asked my Sisters if any of them wanted to come, they all declined thinking that it was too early in the election process for the conclave to come to a decision.

Just as I entered the square a group of teenage boys were exiting the columns, jumping up and down, yelling, “Abbiamo Papa! Abbiamo Papa!”  We have a Pope! We have a Pope!” I quickly entered the square which was still pretty empty, and saw the last of the smoke coming out of the temporary chimney to the Sistine Chapel, where the Conclave is held. I remember speculating with others waiting who they thought it would be. Many believed it would be Cardinal Ratzinger.

The square filled quickly, and the atmosphere was joyful, as though Christmas had come early, yet there was more. I ended up standing between two very different men. One was a Jew. The other was a Muslim. They came because they knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime event, and they wanted to be a part of it. We were part of that crowd in the video, exclaiming joyfully together the good news that a Pope has been chosen. When the name of Cardinal Ratzinger was announced, these two men, along with most of the crowd, started jumping up and down, yelling, “We have a Pope! We have a Pope!” I asked them both, “Wait. You’re a Jew. You’re a Muslim.” but they both replied, “Today, it doesn’t matter. We have a Pope!”

It was truly a moment where all of Rome was united in a way that I’ve never known before, or have experienced again. But a day is yet to come, when we will put all else aside, and proclaim together “We have the same Lord.” This is the hope I carry in my heart every day. It will be in Christ, our true unity will come.
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