Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Roman Springtime of Pope Benedict XVI

Today is his Second Anniversary as pope, here is the frontpage editorial of the L'Observatorio Romano via the Papa Ratzinger Forum:

Two Petrine occasions being lived together as a single intense celebration: The joy of the People of God over the 80th birthday of Benedict XVI continued and was manifest yesterday on a sunny spring morning at the General Audience, on the eve of the second anniversary of his Pontificate.

A spring that is not only 'metereological' but above all, spiritual and ecclesial, enveloped St. Peter's Square with its radiant light. A spring that pulsated with faith and interior joy on this particular Wednesday, still resounding with the loving wishes of all around the world who wished him Happy Birthday and the tens of thousands of pilgrims who had come again to be near the Successor of Peter, honoring him with overflowing filial affection.

Spring is the climate in St. Peter's Square where more than ever today, the heart of the Church beats. Springlike are the colors on the Square which are a palette of the variegated liveliness of the faithful in all their affection and warmth.

'Let us praise and thank God for the gift of Papa Benedetto' says one of the many many streamers enthusastically raised on the Square. A few words with the simple and boundless echo of a universal prayer.

And springlike is the spirit of youthful freshness with which the Pope is experiencing these days. Springlike is this season of his heart and his life. Springlike is the spirit of this '80-year-old youth' who - with the gentle smile and sense of fatherhood that he conveyed to the world from the first day of his pontificate - has guided the helm of Peter's boat without sparing himself.

"Most beloved Holy Father, we are with you always with joy and love in the vineyard of the Lord", another streamer reads. The prayerful affection of a celebratory people accompanies the intrepid Helmsman of the Church at every step along his way.