Papal Artifacts honors Pope Benedict XVI’s desire to set aside the Thursday after Pentecost with a feast to help Catholics reflect on the priesthood and to pray for priests.
We thank them for the gift of their lives to our Church!
About the Featured Image
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
The memorabilia featured below 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.
When Benedict XVI concluded the Year for Priests in 2010, Cardinal Antonio Cañizares suggested that he include in the liturgical calendar a feast to help Catholics reflect on the priesthood and pray for priests.
The pope accepted, and since 2012, bishops’ conferences can request permission to celebrate the feast of Christ Priest every year on the Thursday after Pentecost.
The devotion was strongly promoted by the founders of the Congregation of the Oblates, Spanish bishop Jose María García Lahiguera and Mother Maria del Carmen Hidalgo de Caviedes.
MOTHER TERESA O.C.S.
Superior, Oblate Sisters of Christ Priest
“They had an insight: ‘It would do so much good for these priests if they could celebrate this feast!’ It’s a day for them to contemplate themselves in Christ the Priest. They reflect on how to be priests in Jesus Christ. They contemplate their vocation, their priestly love, in the liturgy, in the Word of God. Those days, the essence of the priesthood is brought into focus.”
Thirteen episcopal conferences and the Vatican basilica celebrate the feast each year.
In places where the Congregation of the Oblate Sisters of Christ Priest are present, the celebration includes large gatherings of priests from all over the diocese. It’s a feast for them to remember the depth of their mission and to renew their surrender. It’s also an expression of gratitude.
Just a few days ago, the pope published a letter he wrote to priests in Rome, to help them during this delicate phase of the pandemic.
Translation: Claudia Torres