‘I am here to bring the greetings of Pope Benedict.’
Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Prefect of the Pontifical House, and private secretary to Benedict XVI, announced this during his remarks at the presentation of the book “BENEDETTO XVI IMMAGINI DI UNA VITA” (“Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI. Pictures of a Life”), published by San Paolo, which took place yesterday, Wednesday 14 June 2017, at the Camera dei Deputati in Rome.
The volume was written by Maria Giuseppina Buonanno and Luca Caruso on the occasion of the 90th birthday of Joseph Ratzinger and includes many images throughout his life, starting from his earliest years up until the 65th-anniversary of the priestly ordination of the Pope Emeritus on June 29, 2016.
Archbishop Gänswein noted that before going to the Camera, he explained to Benedict where he would be going and speaking, and that he would be at the heart of the encounter. “Benedict told me,” he shared smiling, “just give them my greetings and then you would have said it all.”
After the room soon filled up with applause, Benedict’s private secretary, also reminded those present that later tonight, I have to report back to him with how it went.
Beyond this anecdote, Archbishop Gaenswein, highlighted how the “silent presence” of Pope Benedict XVI has emerged as “very good for the Church and to the people of God.”
He also expressed that although he has went through many of the recent books dedicated to Benedict, he stressed, “this one is very well done,” and you read it “with eyes and your brain.”
The volume, written by Maria Giuseppina Buonanno and Luca Caruso on the occasion of the 90th birthday of Joseph Ratzinger, manifests “great affection, support, encouragement and gratitude,” to the Pope Emeritus, and not only from the Catholic world.
Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi, president of the Ratzinger Foundation and former director of the Holy See Press Office, also offered an intervention.
He described the book as “a complete and trustworthy story, also illustrated with photographs, some more rare and more famous, that make us look at the face of Joseph Ratzinger, from infancy to today.”
The author Luca Caruso thanked all those present and noted: “Writing this book was like embarking upon a journey in the life, thought, and works of Benedict XVI.”
He also illustrated various ways in which Pope Benedict had demonstrated and explained the beauty of having a relationship with God.
Author Maria Giuseppina Buonanno spoke on Ratzinger’s younger life recalling how he was a very good student, and enjoyed his studies, with the exception of physical education, and enjoyed celebrating Mass at home when he was little, with his brother Georg.
She pointed out how this book captures these young years of his life, including his being born to parents Joseph and Mary ‘like the Holy Family of Nazareth,’ and his close relationship with his siblings, including Maria, who helped him over the years.
While recalling other personal details such as Razinger’s love for music, such as Mozart, and need to have a piano always nearby, she was quick to underscore that faith and reason were at the center of Ratzinger’s teachings.