Recorded from Midnight Mass at St. Peter's.
It's been quite a busy year for Pope Benedict XVI. Besides his almost daily meetings with ambassadors groups, heads of States, and his weekly Wednesday audiences, his Sunday Angelus blessing for pilgrims, this year he took five trips outside of Italy, to Malta, Portugal, Cyprus, Spain, and the first state visit for a Pope to the United Kingdom. He beatified Blessed John Henry Newman, the first beatification Mass ever on English soil. He made four trips within Italy, created twenty four new cardinals, canonised six new saints. He established a new Pontifical Council for promoting the New Evangelisation and he concluded the Year for Priests this past June, with possibly the largest meeting of priests and the largest concelebrated Mass in history, with 15,000 priests present. He also recently led the Synod of Bishops on the Middle East.
Among his many writings and regular homilies and discourses throughout the year, of note this year are his Apostolic Exhortation on the "Word of God", his "Letter to Seminarians" and his "Letter to the Catholics of Ireland".
The Holy Father's schedule would be quite daunting for anyone, but for a man of 83 years old, it is nothing short of remarkable.
In the words of Peter Seewald, with whom he published an extensive and exclusive interview in a book entitled "Light of the World", where he says
"this man is a servant of the Church, a great giver, who completely exhausts himself in his giving.
In the next few days the Holy Father will celebrate the 12 days of Christmas by giving of himself more. Tomorrow at noon he will give his annual Urbi et Orbi blessing, the blessing for the city of Rome and for the world. On Sunday, this year marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, he will eat lunch with about 300 of the poorest of the poor here in Rome, who are served by the Missionaries of Charity, at "Dona de Maria" , Gift of Mary, here at the Vatican. He will lead Vespers on the December 31st and celebrate Mass on January 1st here at St. Peter's, for the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. On January 5th he will visit with and bring gifts to children in Rome's Policlinico Gemelli hospital. On January 6th he will be here at the Mass of the Epiphany, and on January 9th, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the Holy Father will baptise 22 infants in the Sistine Chapel, during Mass for the children and their parents.
by Monsignor Tom Powers