This item 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. And what is of greatest interest is the fact that it was signed by him at the time of his ordination. And, not only did he sign his ordination card, but also, his brother, Georg, ordained with him, signed his as well. So these are very nice additions to this Collection.
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. –Father Richard Kunst
Pope Benedict XVI was ordained on June 29, 1951.