Friday, April 27, 2012

After Seven Years, the Secret of Pope Ratzinger

Benedict XVI will be remembered more for his homilies than for his encyclicals. And for his audacious, unconventional actions. Like in Madrid, in front of a million young people and right in the middle of a violent storm...

by Sandro Magister


ROME, April 27, 2012 – No one said it a week ago, during the flood of tributes for Benedict XVI's seventh anniversary as pope. But the element that has most revealed the profound meaning of his pontificate was a storm.

It was a scorching evening in Madrid, in August of 2011. In front of Pope Benedict, on the open ground, a million young people, average age 22, an unknown. All of a sudden a downpour of water, lightning, wind hurled itself on them all, with no shelter anywhere. Clusters of floodlights were tossed into the air, posters flew away, even the pope was drenched. But he stayed where he was in front of the explosive celebration of young men and women over the surprise performance from the heavens.

When the rain stopped, the pope set aside his written remarks and addressed just a few words to the young people. He invited them to look not at him, but at that Jesus who said he is living and present in the consecrated host on the altar. He knelt down in silent adoration. And the same happened in the clearing. Everyone knelt down on the wet ground. In complete silence. For a good half hour.

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