In early May the Vatican stamp and coin office will release stamps marking retired Pope Benedict XVI’s 90th birthday and important events in the life of the church spanning almost 2,000 years. The Philatelic and Numismatic Office said the stamp sheet celebrating Pope Benedict’s April 16 birthday was designed to “offer our affectionate tribute to him.”
Designed by the artist Daniela Longo, the sheet features a drawing of Pope Francis and Pope Benedict embracing, while the actual stamps show the retired pope praying his rosary.StampNews.com invites our readers to appreciate this souvenir sheet and congratulate Pope Benedict XVI with his jubilee.
Joseph Ratzinger was born in Marktl am Inn, Bavaria, Germany, at 8:30 on the morning of 16 April 1927. It was Holy Saturday and he was baptised that day. His elder brother, Georg (born 1924) also became a priest. Their sister, Maria, managed Joseph’s household until her death in 1991, fulfilling a promise she made to their parents to take care of her brothers.
As Cardinal Ratzinger, the future pope wrote of the importance of being born on Holy Saturday in his 1998 memoir, Milestones:
“I have always been filled with thanksgiving for having had my life immersed in this way in the Easter mystery, since this could only be a sign of blessing. To be sure, it was not Easter Sunday but Holy Saturday, but, the more I reflect on it, the more this seems to be fitting for the nature of our human life: We are still awaiting Easter; we are still not standing in the full light, but walking toward it in full trust.”
On the 12th April Pope Francis visited his predecessor at Vatican City’s Mater Ecclesiae monastery to wish him a happy birthday and a happy Easter.