Today, June 13, 2017, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Our Lady’s second apparition at Fatima to the three young children, two of whom were recently canonized. An incredible vision of (now) St. Jacenta Marto about Pope Benedict XV is described below, adding dimension to this pontiff’s spirituality and grief about the tragedies of WW I and his inability to orchestrate a solution that would end it. But pray, he did, storming heaven with his supplications.
A card attached to this large rosary belonging to Pope Benedict XV states that it was believed to be used by the pope and was then presented to nuns in 1944. The card is old enough to be convinced of its authenticity.
Popes are presented with thousands of gifts during their pontificates, often during papal audiences or general audiences. Unable to keep them unless they are of historical or religious importance they are often given to the poor or, in this case, to a religious order.
On the Piety of Pope Benedict XV & The Fatima Connection
Giacomo della Chiesa, Benedict XV ascended to the Chair of Peter at a turning point in history: the First World War was raging in Europe and Our Lady of Fatima was soon to make her appearance in Portugal, in 1917. In fact, on May 13 of that year, Pope Benedict was consecrating a young priest as a bishop, the future Pope Pius XII. Pius would one day consecrate the human race to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Yet few consider this aspect of Benedict XV. He had a phrase he liked to use, “The inscrutable design of Divine Providence”, which fits the case here, for it seems to be the express will of Almighty God that much of this Pontiff’s life would remain hidden or unknown, passing from the successor of Peter into obscurity, quite ironically, for Giacomo della Chiesa was the faithful client of Our Lady and at Fatima he was mentioned in this manner:
As it happened, the little seers were talking about the apparitions among themselves. Suddenly Jacinta asked her cousin Lucy, “Have you ever seen the Holy Father?” Before Lucy could reply, Jacinta, with the charming innocence of a pure child, answered her own question:
“I do not know how it happened, but I saw him in a very large house, kneeling before a little table, weeping, with his head between his hands. Outside there was a crowd. … Poor Holy Father.”
Jacinta’s statement was undoubtedly true, for she was not capable of a lie. Had she told of Benedict XV being carried through St. Peter’s on the sedia gestatoria, it could be possible to consider that newspaper accounts had imbedded themselves in the child’s imagination so that any thought of the Pope would have had to clothe itself in some glorious tale. Instead she described a small, grief-stricken priest on his knees at a table. Moreover, Benedict was seldom photographed and when he had been, never been pictured in this pose.
Of special import, is was known that in those days Pope Benedict could often be found on his knees at a table in his room. Friedrich von Lama gives an account of a German priest who in a private audience asked the Pope whether he really hoped for peace through his incessant admonitions. Benedict ushered his visitor to his inner chamber. He went to a table on which was a statue of Our Lady of Protection (Madonna della Guardia). “Slowly he sank to his knees, and, as though entirely alone, remained in this posture for a long time. Then he arose, blessed his visitor, and, with a look of deep introspection, dismissed him. Benedict thus taught his visitor that the supreme Pontiff’s chief task was prayer as mediator between God and man.
Please visit Papal Artifacts & Papal History to view the many items connected to him and to read biographical information about Pope Benedict XV. Here is a link to the artifacts: