February 11, 2013: The day started off just like any other. At 11.00 in the morning, Pope Benedict XVI met with cardinals to announce three canonizations. But Benedict XVI added another item to the list…one that would forever mark the Catholic Church.
Due to an advanced age, I am no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.
The 85 year-old Pope had announced his resignation. Cardinals seemed shocked and confused. At that point, they were the only ones who knew.
His announcement set in motion the final days of his pontificate, which were concluded on February 28, 2013.
A Signed Photo of Pope Benedict XVI
This item is actually both common and uncommon. It is the autographed photo of a pope. Although they are relatively common, they’re still highly sought after and a lot of people try to get them, which makes it fairly difficult. So maybe it’s a misnomer to say that they’re common. But the thing that makes this one uncommon is that it’s the first photograph signed by Pope Benedict XVI as pope. It was on May 9, 2005, so it was just 19-20 days after his election.
We can see the ‘PP’ next to his name on this item, as in many other documents in the Collection, dating way back in history. The significance of the ‘PP’ is that almost always, though not always, a pope will sign his papal name with ‘PP’, which simply is short for Papa or Daddy, indicating the spiritual fatherhood of the pope towards the faithful. So 99 per cent of the time the Holy Father signs in this manner symbolizing his universal role as our Shepherd. Imagine! His symbol of fathering us is contained right in his very name. And it has been used for hundreds ofyears.