The Holy Father’s recent announcement of his resignation from the Papacy due to reasons of advanced age and diminished strength was an act of selfless humility and great humanity.
Shortly after his election in 2005, it was speculated that the new pope, Pope Benedict XVI, would be unlike his predecessor, who transformed the image of the Supreme Pontiff as the World’s Pope. This would not be the case. In fact, Pope Benedict exercised the papacy by continuing to shepherd the flock the world over, traveling to places as far away as Sydney, Australia, to be with the youth of our Church, and meeting Catholics across the globe wherever they happened to be in their faith journey.
In the wake of his final days as Supreme Pontiff, we offer the greatest gift a people of faith can give: our fervent prayers. We pray for the former Pope Benedict XVI, that his remaining time on this earth will be a peaceful and prayerful reward for the gifts of his priestly ministry and his Papacy; We pray that the guidance of the holy spirit will be with the College of Cardinals who possess the great and important task of electing a new pope to lead our Church; and we pray for the Catholic Church, built on the rock that was our first Pope, St. Peter, that it will continue to be a witness to God’s Word, to the truth, and to love, for all people in all nations.
For these we pray …
O Lord Jesus Christ,
Supreme Pastor of Your Church,
We thank you for the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI
And the selfless care with which he has led us
As Successor of Peter, and Your Vicar on earth.
Good Shepherd, who founded Your Church
On the rock of Peter’s faith
And have never left Your flock untended,
Look with love upon us now,
And sustain Your Church in faith, hope, and charity.
Grant, Lord Jesus, in Your boundless love for us,
A new Pope for Your Church
Who will please You by his holiness
And lead us faithfully to You,
Who are the same yesterday, today, and forever.
A Prayer for Our Church
Composed by Archbishop William E. Lori, 16th Archbishop of Baltimore