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 of years. —-Father Richard Kunst
This item featured above is actually a holy card that Pope Benedict XVI had printed for his ordination. Nearly all priests have their own cards printed to commemorate ordination, the most important event of a priest’s life. And this one was printed for Father Joseph Ratzinger who later became Pope Benedict XVI. It’s a great item to have because it dates back to the very beginning of the ministry of the man who was our Holy Father from 2005 until his resignation in 2012.
There are reasons that priests have ordination cards with general information on them. The first purpose, of course, is to commemorate the event. Also, priests give them as gifts in thank you cards, and also, they are given for people to remember that date.
Lots of times, on one side, there will be a holy picture, as is Joseph Ratzinger’s, which is an image of the Madonna and Child. Sometimes, priests choose a saint, or an image of Christ or a saint for whom the priest has a particular affection. Oftentimes a favorite scripture quote is used, and the date and location of ordination is also included. Father Ratzinger chose an inscription from 2 Corinthians 1:24: “Not that we lord it over your faith; rather, we work together for your joy, for you stand firm in the faith.”
Benedict XVI has a picture of himself, too. The picture is rather unique in that most guys don’t have a photo on their cards. This makes it more interesting, I think, because you can see a very young Pope Benedict.
Another unique thing about Pope Benedict and his ordination is the fact that he was ordained with his older brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, by Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber. —Father Richard Kunst
Papal Artifacts invites you to view the items connected to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on Papal Artifacts/Benedict XVI. His biography and additional pictures and information are also featured on Papal History/Benedict XVI.
Additional Information about the Memorabilia of Their Ordinations:
The memorabilia featured here include items from the ordinations and first Masses of the future Pope and his brother, Georg, ordained together in 1951.
The invitation states, On the feast of the apostles, Peter and Paul, we will receive the holy ordination of a priest in the Cathedral of Saint Mary at Freising.
Our first Mass (Erstlingsopfer) will be celebrated on Sunday, July 8th, 1951 in the Church of Saint Oswald in Traunstein.
You are invited to be with us. God will bless you all who accompany us on our way to this “Primizaltar” (the altar where they will have their first Masses)
With prayers and offerings, Georg and Joseph Ratzinger.
Included with this invitation are the guests’ place cards directing them to their pews where they have been invited to sit for this first Mass: “Mittelschiff” is the area of the Church, which is in front of the altar.
The invitation shows the names of the invited guests, the Kebler family.
Father Richard Kunst: Having an ordination card from 60 years ago is understandable, but I have never seen anyone keep an invitation like this, or offer it for purchase. It is a very nice item to have.
Papal Artifacts honors the gift of Joseph Ratzinger’s life to our Church and shares in wishing him a happy feast day today!
Saint Joseph, Husband of Mary, pray for us!