Habemus Papam – What a Day that Was!

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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Related:
Creative Minority Report recalls Habemus Papam Punk!

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Prayers for the Pope

Over at Fr. John Zuhlsdorf’s site, WDTPRS, he is encouraging his readers to participate in a Spiritual Bouquet for the Pope Benedict XVI. He writes:

“Think of the great cares the Holy Father bears in his heavy mandate as Vicar of Christ.  He has need of our prayers to help him be strong and to guard him from his enemies.

“I propose to all readers here a Spiritual Bouquet for Pope Benedict with a ending date of 19 March, the Feast of St. Joseph, which is the Holy Father’s baptismal “name day”.”

It is a good practice for all of us to pray for the Pope on a regular basis. As we might imagine, he carries a lot on his shoulders as he governs the Universal Church; he continues to reach out to others, building bridges towards unity within the Christian community, and in reaching out to people of other faith traditions.

One concern of the faithful for the Holy Father, has been punctuated in the blogosphere as of late, that being the speculation about the “instructions” to be published regarding motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. Some fear the follow-up letter of instruction will ‘water down’ the language of Summorum Pontificum.  A good summary of some of the concerns is posted at Te Deum laudamus.

Let us then, hold our Pope in constant prayer, that he may continue to shepherd the Church according to God’s divine will.

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Related Posts:

Dr. Robert Moynihan on the Summorum Pontificum instruction concerns

News from an Italian source about the Insturction on Summorum Pontificum by Father Z

Seven Sundays devotion in Honor of St Joseph

A Saint Invites us Toward Christian Unity

The Letter to the Ephesians exhorts us:

“Be a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to serve unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.”

Today, the 12th of November, we remember Saint Josephat Kunsevych, born in 1580 in the Ukraine; a man who took these words of St Paul to heart. He was raised in the Orthodox tradition and was trained as a merchant’s apprentice. He was attracted, though, to the rigors of religious life, with a desire for a deeper spiritual life. During his youth, he experienced first-hand the separation by the Orthodox churches from the Holy See, and longed to see all Christians united under Christ.

On the 300th anniversary of St Josephat’s martyrdom, Pope Pius XI wrote the Encyclical, Ecclesiam Dei (The Church of God, promulgated on 12 November 1923):

The Church of God, by a wondrous act of Divine Providence, was so fashioned as to become in the fullness of time an immense family which embraces all men. The Church possesses—a fact known to all—as one of its visible marks, impressed on it by God, that of a world-wide unity… Since this communion of all the peoples of the earth in a world-wide unity is, above all things, the work of God, and therefore to be had only with the divine help and assistance, let us have recourse with all care to prayer, following in this both the teachings and example of St. Josaphat, who, in his apostolate for unity, trusted above all else in the power of prayer. Ecclesiam Dei, #1, #23.

The deep longing St Josaphat experienced, for Christian Unity, is the call of every Christian who has found the deep treasure of Salvation through Christ. May we one day be able to share our joy in union with our brothers and sisters at the Table of the Lord.

Lord,

fill your Church with the Spirit

that gave Saint Josaphat courage

to lay down his life for his people.

By his prayers

may your Spirit make us strong

and willing to offer our lives

for our brothers and sisters.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

One God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saint Josaphat, Pray for us!

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More on this topic:

St. Josaphat, martyr for Church unity, to be remembered Nov. 12

Biography of St. Josaphat Kuncevyc

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On Christian Unity:

The restoration of unity among all Christians