“Just a pilgrim on the final stage of his journey”

(Vatican Radio) Pope Benedict XVI arrived at Castel Gandolfo, Thursday evening, after a 15 minute helicopter ride over the rooftops of Rome. But before taking his leave of the men and women, officials and lay staff in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, with whom he shared his daily life and his mission over the past eight years, he had time for one more tweet to his many followers worldwide, it was his parting message:

“Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the centre of your lives”.

As of 20:00 Thursday evening the twitter account @pontifex will be shut down temporarily for the period of Vacant See.

From Castel Gandolfo

The Pope makes his last public address at Castel Gandolfo

(Vatican Radio) “Thank you, thank you from my heart” “I am happy to be here with you surrounded by the beauty of Creation and your friendship that warms me”, “you know that today is different from others, as of eight pm I will no longer be the Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Roman Church”. “I am a pilgrim who is begging the last part of his pilgrimage on earth”. “But with all my interior strength, with all my heart, with all my love I will work for the good of the Church and all humanity”. This was how Benedict XVI brought to an end the long goodbye that has accompanied the final weeks of his Pontificate.
As the bells of Rome continued to peel in salute to the 265th Successor of St Peter and the sun set behind the tiny hill-top town of Castel Gandolfo, the figure of Benedict XVI slipped behind the curtains of the central balcony of the Apostolic Palace in Castel Gandolfo. It was his last public appearance as Pope.

The crowds below continued to cheer as further north, in St Peter’s Square, thousands more huddled around the giant screens, many shaking their heads, with tears in their eyes.
“Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the centre of your lives”, read his last tweet, sent moments before he lifted off from the Vatican heliport for the Papal Summer Residence, high in the Vatican Gardens. Vatican officials and lay staff from his chauffeur, to the squadron of gardeners struggling to contain their emotion as they bid him farewell.
As of 20:00, the See of Peter will be vacant. Benedict XVI will now retire into a secluded life of prayer and meditation, at first remaining in Castel Gandolfo before retiring to a monastery in the Vatican gardens.


About Gertrude

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
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10 Responses to “Just a pilgrim on the final stage of his journey”

  1. Michael says:

    Time to quote A Muppet Christmas Carol:

    Benedict’s pontificate has done us good, and will do us good, and I say, God bless it!


  2. kathleen says:

    Missing Pope Benedict already……. and the moment of his final departure is not even one day old yet!


  3. JabbaPapa says:

    hmmmm, just thinking kathleen, it’s probably time to update the Prayer Intentions and Rosary links on the right to be focused on the forthcoming Conclave, Prayers for the Cardinal-Electors, and towards prayers for our next Pope.

    NOT to say that Prayers for our Pope Emeritus should be discarded !!!


  4. kathleen says:

    You are right Jabba – thanks for the reminder! I’ll consult with the rest of the ‘Team’ and see what we can come up with. 😉


  5. golden chersonnese says:

    Kathleen, I’ve not had a Pope Emeritus before, as far as I can recall. It’s a new sad kind of sentiment. Like your sweet old grandfather somehow suddenly becoming your absent old great grandfather (speaking as one who never knew a grandfather, however).

    The Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney is being forthright as usual:



  6. Toad says:

    Toad suggests the election of the pope should be a raffle.

    Golden, Pell demonstrated his intellectual prowess when he told Dawkins during a debate, that, “Hume didn’t believe in cause and effect,” (And, oddly, Dawk let that one fly right past his ear.)


  7. golden chersonnese says:

    Toad, it probably is already quite like a raffle. The Spirit breatheth where he will.,though they’re saying now that he doesn’t necessarily descend upon a Conclave. Oh well, The Spirit doesn’t breatheth where he will., then.

    What, a quick-smart Oxford DPhil in Church history and a Licenciate in Theology from the Urbaniana not quite up to fathoming Hume, eh Toad. Pity.


  8. Toad says:

    Chucking all the runners’ names into a mitre and getting some celeb (Gina Lollobrigida, possibly?) to pull out the winner – on behalf of The Holy Ghost – makes quite a lot of sense, as you suggest, Golden.
    Cut out the human element. Leave it to God to pick the right man.
    After all, we’re none of us infallible, are we?

    “What, a quick-smart Oxford DPhil in Church history and a Licenciate in Theology from the Urbaniana not quite up to fathoming Hume, eh Toad. Pity.” You make a good point here, Golden, although a DPhil in Tap Dancing and a Licenciate in Domestic Science wouuld have impressed Toad more. More practical, you see.


  9. golden chersonnese says:

    Toad, I’m not sure about Gina – will she be blindfolded? -, but what you say is a bit like how they elect the Coptic pope:



    (or did you suspect that already?)


  10. Despicable Dan says:

    As you remember the Holy Father, please remember to pray for Hugo Chavez, who is gravely ill.


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