Vatican City, 8 March 2013 (VIS) - “I have never felt alone.” These words, pronounced by Benedict XVI during his last general audience as Pope on Wednesday, 27 February, form the title chosen by the Vatican Publishing House (“Libreria Editrice Vaticana”, LEV) for the newly published book containing Benedict XVI's final addresses. The front cover displays a photograph of the Pope greeting the faithful who had gathered to bid him farewell that day in St. Peter's Square. On the back appear the words he spoke from Castel Gandolfo on 28 February: “I am simply a pilgrim beginning the last leg of his pilgrimage on this earth.”
The noted publishing house presents this book as a “small tribute”, a “sign of the LEV's fidelity to the Holy Father” who, as expressed in the book's introductory presentation, “we have accompanied from the beginning to the end of his Pontificate”. It is a simply bound volume that hopes to “be a sign of gratitude and appreciation”.
In the same introduction, the LEV explains that the Vatican Publishing House's “catalogue has focused on the magisteria and teachings of Benedict XVI”. In this sense, the publishing house recalls that its mission is to “always be an instrument for spreading the word of God and the Magisterium”.
The first text presented in the book is the declaration that Benedict XVI made in the consistory of 11 February, renouncing his ministry as Bishop of Rome. Following are his general audience catechesis on the morning of Wednesday, 13 February, his homily at the Ash Wednesday Mass that evening, and the greeting that the Pope received at the conclusion of that celebration from the Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B.
The book also presents his meeting with the clergy of Rome on 14 February, the Angelus from 17 and 24 February, his reflection at the end of the Curia's Lenten retreat on the morning of 23 February, the text of his final general audience on the 27th, his greeting to the cardinals present in Rome on the morning of the 28th, and the words he addressed to the faithful of the Diocese of Albano who were awaiting him in the square in front of the Apostolic Palace at Castel Gandolfo in the early evening of that day.
The book also contains the text of the Apostolic Letter with his Motu Proprio “Normas Nonnullas”, which modified some of the norms regulating the process of the election of the Roman Pontiff.
The volume concludes with a brief biography of Benedict XVI. It is only available in Italian.