On Wednesday, we had planned to attend the Papal Audience at St Peter’s and then, that evening, we had been granted tickets to Santa Sabina for the Papal Ash Wednesday Mass.
We felt so blessed for this opportunity – Santa Sabina is a small church and to get the chance to begin Lent with our Holy Father was just something that we couldn’t believe we would ever have the chance to attend.
Just over an hour ago, I was relaxing here in our room, Bill was taking a nap after breakfast when I saw the news of Pope Benedict’s decision to retire. My head is still spinning, we will be venturing out soon to go to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and everything feels different all of a sudden. It is a historic day and also the World Day of the Sick. For Pope Benedict to acknowledge his own frailty is an amazing gesture.
We don’t know what is going to happen on Wednesday but no doubt, it will be a day we will remember forever.
Lord, source of eternal life and truth, give to Your shepherd, the Pope, a spirit of courage and right judgement, a spirit of knowledge and love.
By governing with fidelity those entrusted to his care may he, as successor to the apostle Peter and vicar of Christ, build Your church into a sacrament of unity, love, and peace for all the world.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.