At Christmas in 1934, when he was just seven years old, Joseph Ratzinger wrote a letter to the Baby Jesus that reads as follows:
“Dear Baby Jesus, soon you will descend to earth. You will bring joy to children and to me. I would like the Volks-Schott, a green chasuble (vestment) and a heart of Jesus. I always want to be good. Greetings from Joseph Ratzinger.”
The Volks-Schott was the German missal used at that time. On several occasions, Pope Benedict XVI’s brother spoke of how they would pretend to celebrate the Mass when they were children. They even dressed in vestments made by their mother’s seamstress.
The letter, written in old German that is no longer used today, was found in the Ratzinger family home in Bavaria. It was later kept by the Pope Emeritus’ sister until it was displayed in the house, now converted into a museum.