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Monday, April 19, 2010

BENEDICT XVI CELEBRATES FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF PONTIFICATE


VATICAN CITY, 19 APR 2010 (VIS) - Benedict XVI today celebrates the fifth anniversary of his election as Pope. On 19 April 2005 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, succeeding Pope John Paul II, became the 264th successor of St. Peter.

  The conclave that led to the election of Benedict XVI began on Monday 18 April 2005 in the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, with the "extra omnes" pronounced at 5.25 p.m. by Archbishop Piero Marini, master of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, following the taking of the oath by the 115 cardinal electors. The first black smoke appeared at 8.04 p.m. on the same day. Black smoke again appeared at 11.52 a.m. on Tuesday 19 April, while the white smoke arose on Tuesday 19 April at 5.50 p.m.

  At 6.48 p.m., the Holy Father Benedict XVI, preceded by the Cross, appeared on the external loggia to greet the people and to impart the Apostolic Blessing "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and to the world).

  Prior to the blessing, the new Pontiff addressed the faithful with the following words:

  "Dear brothers and sisters, after the great Pope John Paul II, the Lord Cardinals have elected me, a simple and humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord. I am consoled by the fact that the Lord knows how to act, even with inadequate instruments and above all I entrust myself to your prayers. In the joy of the Risen Lord, trusting in His permanent help, as we go forward the Lord will help us, and His Mother, Mary Most Holy, is on our side Thank you."

  On 24 April 2005 in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI celebrated his first Mass as Pontiff in the presence of half a million people. One hundred and fifty cardinals concelebrated with the Pope.

  In his first homily, the Pope said: "One of the basic characteristics of a shepherd must be to love the people entrusted to him, even as he loves Christ Whom he serves. 'Feed my sheep', says Christ to Peter, and now, at this moment, He says it to me as well. Feeding means loving, and loving also means being ready to suffer. Loving means giving the sheep what is truly good, the nourishment of God's truth, of God's word, the nourishment of His presence, which He gives us in the Blessed Sacrament.

  " My dear friends, at this moment I can only say: pray for me, that I may learn to love the Lord more and more. Pray for me, that I may learn to love His flock more and more, in other words, you, the holy Church, each one of you and all of you together. Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves. Let us pray for one another, that the Lord will carry us and that we will learn to carry one another".

  In the five years of his pontificate, Benedict XVI has published three Encyclicals: "Deus caritas est" of 25 December 2005, "Spe salvi" of 27 November 2007, and "Caritas in veritate" of 30 June 2009; one Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist; the Apostolic Constitution "Anglicanorum coetibus"; nine "Motu Proprio"; the book "Jesus of Nazareth", and hundreds of addresses, homilies, letters and messages. He has made fourteen apostolic trips abroad and sixteen pastoral visits within Italy. Among the more important events of his pontificate were his visit to Auschwitz in 2006 and to the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, also in 2006, his 2008 address before the United Nations, and his 2010 visit to the synagogue of Rome. He has called two Synods, the first in 2008 on the Word of God and the second on Africa in 2009. A third Synod, on the Middle East, is due to take place later this year.

  To mark today's occasion, the cardinals will offer a luncheon in the Pope's honour in the Sala Ducale of the Vatican Apostolic Palace.
BXVI-ANNIVERSARY/                        VIS 20100419 (670)

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