POPE-POURRI: 'Light' news items, anecdotes about Pope Benedict now

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00Tuesday, June 27, 2006 6:33 PM
Dear Sue - Very good of you to have posted the link for those who have not seen it before, thanks!
Sihaya in the main forum found that site a few months back (before there was an English section)-
the pictures have been reproduced in the main forum at least twice, and I posted a translation of
the interview in the RFC, as well as reproduced the pictures there.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 09/07/2006 6.10]

00Wednesday, June 28, 2006 4:20 AM

Vatican Exhibits Papal Elections

From St. Peter to Benedict XVI

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 27, 2006 (Zenit.org).- A new exhibition in Rome sheds light on the sacred rite of electing a Pope.

"Habemus Papam: Papal Elections from St. Peter to Benedict XVI," attempts to reconstruct the most significant moments and events of the steps that lead from a Pope's death to the election of a new Successor of St. Peter.

The exhibition, which will take place next winter in Rome in the Lateran Apostolic Palace from Dec. 7 to April 9, is organized by the Vatican Museums and the European Center for Tourism, with the support of the Province of Rome and in collaboration with numerous Vatican and Italian institutions.

A preview of the exhibition was presented last week at the Valentini Palace in Rome.

Cardinal Francesco Marchisano, archpriest of the Vatican basilica, speaking at the event, said: "If this exhibition succeeds in helping to understand what the life of a Pontiff really consists of, a life totally in favor of others, it will make manifest not only the past but also the present of the Pontificate."

Archbishop Francesco Monterisi, secretary of the Congregation for Bishops and the College of Cardinals, underlined the spiritual dimension that surrounds the whole election ceremony: "Those who go to the exhibition will be able to see the difference of the conclave from any civil election. The atmosphere breathed is one of constant immersion in the sacred and in prayer.

"The election of the Pope is, in fact, a sacred rite. Notwithstanding the inner recess, each cardinal elector has the support in prayer and waiting of Catholics worldwide. It is not an isolated act of the people of God. In a certain sense, it is an action of the whole Church."

The exhibit shows that by the Middle Ages the Church had already elaborated a ceremony consisting of ritual gestures and actions to support the transit of the Roman Pontiff.

The ceremonial had its origins in the ancient Roman tradition, which was modified over time until the first complete codification was made by Pierre Ameil (1385-1390) in his ceremonial.

On the whole, the exhibition illustrates the uses, practices and modifications of the conclave, since its first institution in 1059 by Nicholas III, with the decree "In Nomine Domini," until its recent updating in 1996 with the apostolic constitution "Universi Dominici Gregis," promulgated by Pope John Paul II.
00Wednesday, June 28, 2006 5:32 PM

Baby Benedict gets letter from Pope

Baby Benedict is only 10 weeks old and already he's received a special letter from the Pope.

The personalised note on Vatican headed-notepaper arrived on baby Benedict's doorstep after officials in Rome learned the tot had been named after the Pope, with whom he also shares a birthday.

Mum Amanda, 34, spoke of her surprise to receive the letter, as the first she knew of husband Kevin writing to Pope Benedict XVI was when they received the reply.

Kevin, 37, who works at Galloway's Society for the Blind, mentioned their baby was born on Easter Sunday and named after the Pope in a letter he wrote to the Vatican explaining how the charity includes Catholic publications in its range of talking book services.

He had also made a tongue-in-cheek request for Pope Benedict to carry out their baby's baptism.

Kevin, of Fishwick View, Fishwick, Preston, revealed: "The letter says the holy father is pleased to learn of the arrival of baby Benedict and assured us of his prayers.

"It's obviously got to Rome. The reply is kind of personalised, it's on Vatican headed paper.

"These sort of stories, they must get through somehow.

"Then it said, the holy father is unable to baptise Benedict but includes details of the audiences that we can go and be in when he is in Rome."
00Wednesday, June 28, 2006 10:00 PM
[Yahoo posted several photos of Papa inside the car being shown some of its finer points but, alas, my photo-posting skills are sorely lacking. Sorry. Let's see, how many cars has he been given now?]

Papal car fleet adds new fully loaded Volvo

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service (www.catholicnews.com)

VATICAN CITY – The papal car fleet now has a new addition: a fully loaded, top-of-the-line, eight-cylinder sport utility vehicle.

At the end of the pope's weekly general audience, Volvo representatives handed the pope a set of keys to one of their latest XC90 models that had been outfitted especially for him.

The blue SUV with taupe interior boasts a six-speed automatic transmission and 311-horsepower engine plus all the state-of-the-art safety features.

Though Volvo is Latin for "I turn" or "I roll," the XC90 features a patented Roll Over Protection System, Roll Stability Control, and a whiplash protection seating system, all meant to reduce damage to passengers and the vehicle in case of an accident.

Other standard features in the seven-passenger vehicle are ergonomically designed seats, reading lamps, an eight-speaker CD player, 12-volt power outlets and 12 beverage holders.

But in a country where gas prices reach $6 a gallon, the pope's new SUV does not have the best gas mileage: 15 miles per gallon for city driving and 21 mpg for highway driving. The Web sites for the Ford-owned Volvo say the all-wheel-drive vehicle has high environmental standards with a cleaner-running, low-emissions engine.

[Modificato da benefan 28/06/2006 22.04]

P.S. on 7/3/06:
Benefan - I'm taking the liberty to insert here Sylvie's montage today from the volvo.it site of Papa viewing his new SUV.

And earlier, Paparatzifan picked up these news agency pictures:

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 04/07/2006 1.29]

00Thursday, June 29, 2006 12:29 AM
Ratzgirl just posted an Italian news report saying that on the first anniversary of publication of the
Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it has already sold 2 million copies in the Italian
edition alone!

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 09/07/2006 6.08]

00Friday, June 30, 2006 3:54 AM
And I feel so guilty I did not think of it until I came across the APCOM item posted by Ratzi-lella
in the main forum!

Joseph Ratzinger marked the 55th anniversary of his ordination as a priest today. At the age of 24, Joseph
and his brother Georg were ordained at the Cathedral of Freising.

Last April 9, when he met with the yoouth of Rome in St. Peter's Square, the Pope recalled that day this way:

"it was a splendid summer day which will remain unforgettable as the most important moment of my life...They
(the Nazis) had been telling us that 'In the new Germany, there will be no more priests, there will no longer
be consecrated lives, as we will have no need of such people - look for another profession.

"But precisely by hearing these 'strong' voices, in the face of the brutality of that system that had an inhuman
face, I understood that on the contrary, there was a great need for priests...."


[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 09/07/2006 6.06]

00Friday, June 30, 2006 11:38 PM
It was hard to decide which thread to post Simone's extraordinary account of "How I spent my summer vacation",
but since it revolved around Papa and the places dear to him, I decided I would place it here, rather than in PICTURES

I hope I have placed the picture-montages in the right places! As I said earlier in another thread, Simone's travelog
is probably the best visual preparation one can have for Papa's Bavarian visit.


“God be with you, land of Bavaria”:
My Travel Report

Dear friends…H ere is Part-I of my travel report. I warn you – it is daunting! Although I tried hard to limit myself,
there is so much to write about…If it annoys you, then…

Gott mit dir, du Land der Bayern” (God be with you, land of Bavaria) from the Bavarian anthem or
Wer den Dichter will verstehen, muss ins Land des Dichters gehen (Goethe)“ [also quoted by Papa in
Wadowice about John Paul II - Roughly, it means whoever wants to understand a poet must visit the place
he comes from. Side note- Simone has a talent for picking out the right quotations – remember her signature
motto eventually became the motto for Papa’s Bavarian visit

Part I


When one plans to spend a summer vacation in Bavaria, one must prepare for everything from a snow fall to
super-heat, so we naturally have too much baggage. But there was room in the suitcase, of course, for the
two most necessary Ratzi-books I decided to bring [Papa's autobiography and Peter Seewald's 'Portrait of
Benedict XVI Up-Close"

The first little problem crops up before we even left – the suitcases would not fit into the new car – but it
has a back seat! And the warm extreme-summer weather has begun.

Along the way, we saw many football fans from Mexico on their way to Nuremberg....

My heart started racing as we approached the city of Regensburg, almost like it did when arriving in Rome last time.

The Hotel Herzog-am-Dom is very well-located, as the name says, right by the Cathedral (Dom). It has almost
avant-gardist furnishings in a historical edifice, and the rooms have free DSL access! The room charge
also includes the minibar which has no alcohol except beer, and juices, Fanta, Cola and water.

One does not need an alarm clock because at 6 a.m. the Cahtedral bells start to ring. I find that very beautiful!!!

The furnishings are so ‘avantgarde’ that one has two LEDs instead of ordinary reading lamps and they also serve
as “emergency lights”. But who would read in bed in this vibrant city!

Another hotel, “Der Andechser” which has a beer garden, is in the same building. Very practical! Altogether,
the hotel prices are comparable. I would have chosen the Bischofshof in any case, but they had no vacancies.

Now we went a bit around the city. How pretty it is – the Cathedral, the Bishops’ Court (Bischofshof),
the many small streets where life truly pulsates….

The cathedral bookstore has two display windows filled with HIS books and posters.

And so here are the places he frequented – where his beloved eyes looked, where he walked, where he loved to be.
What did he think? What did he do?

We went over the Stone Bridge [crossing the Danube which flows through Regensburg]. A figure on the bridge
is on the lookout - for whom, I wonder?

There is a typically Bavarian street fair in Stadtamhof. All the beer gardens along the banks of the Danube
are bursting full.

After dinner at Andechser, we took another Absacker at the Bischofshof. We then proceeded to Georg’s house
on Luzengasse 2. Unfortunately, he was not in town so one did not have the possibility of seeing him. Here,
there is absolutely no evidence of wanting to be incognito – the doorbell and mailbox are quite normal,
with Georg’s name on them. How often has Papa been in and out of this place!

Again extreme summer weather, very hot.

We went to the Cathedral for the first time. I lit a candle before Mary’s image, HIS candle already burning (?).

Then to the tourist information bureau – very inadequate!!
They did not know anything about the Vespers on
6/14, vigil of Corpus Domini, nor whether Gloria (Thurn und Taxis) was in town, and they even located the
‘Kaff' (boarding-school for the Domspaetzen, the Regensburg Cathedral's boys choir) wrongly on the city map…

But they know that Papa will stay at the Seminary on Bismarck Square in September. So we proceeded there...

Once again, the city fascinated me – it is fantastic, so many young people, with activity everywhere and
wonderful piazzas.

Later we drove to Ziegetsdorf, to the cemetery. It is a very tiny one – I found the gravesite [of Papa's parents
and sister]immediately since I had a picture of it. I asked two women who were taking care of other gravesites if
there was a flowershop nearby. But there wasn’t so we had to go to Pentling to a shopping center. I bought
three roses that I laid on the grave – that meant a lot to me.

Necessarily, I had to go by myself to Bergstrasse 6 [Papa’s Pentling home address]. Actually, everything
about it is publicly described. There is even a sign on the house – despite which I could not find it at first
and had to ask other residents the way. The man said jestingly that ‘the pope is not there though”, and in the
same spirit, I said I was deeply disappointed!

The house looks quite pretty, unassuming, but by no means “Bausparkkassenstil” [roughly, savings-bank building
style] as I had once read somewhere. It looked freshly painted and the garden is well tended.

Bergstrasse [mountain street] , as the name indicates, goes uphill and ends in a cul-de-sac. The house is almost
at the opposite end [of the cul-de-sac] at the corner of Bergstrasse and Mittweg. The state highway is not
far away, so the area is not quite peaceful.

The house looks lived in, at least the ground floor, and there are plants in flowerpots on the terrace. There is
a beehive in the garden. I broke off a small branch from a tree [Weigelien?]to take with me (veneration of
relics is not, after all, unusual among Catholics).

The Hofbauer family [Papa's friends and caretakers of his house]lives directly across the street on Mittterweg.
Unfortunately there was not a soul to be seen to whom I could speak to, although an “work-ready” high-pressure
automatic cleaner was in the driveway. Apparently, everyone has hidden away from me!

I couldn’t get myself to leave but neither could I continue. Here he lived, worked, slept, ate, laughed,
received guests, walked about the grounds….

It is here that he has always returned. But even now, as I write, my heart is racing. When I think about it all…..
phew! the Regensburg effect! You can think what you want about what I mean by that!
But back to reality. Back in Regensburg, we both visited the splendid “Old Chapel”, which lies right behind
our hotel. Then we proceeded to the Domspaetzen boarding-school, the so-called “Kaff”. At first we couldn’t
find it. The name was in giant letters on the building, but from the street one could nto see this because
tree branches covered the sign. But even here, everything seemed dead- everyone is still on Pentecost
vacation, and the house won’t reopen until 6/18.

Later, we ate at the Augustiner beer garden – we both ordered steak. Very good! In any case, I had drunk a bit
too much Thurn-und-Taxis beer. We wandered through the narrow streets, through the Bishops’ Court, towards the
Danube. It was very warm. I felt depressed, since I was still....Anyway! Warm summer nights, and the
atmosphere of the city, his city – that's a very dangerous mix – Phew! The Regensburg effect at high concentration!

Super-hot weather.

We got ourselves theater tickets for an open-air performance tonight of, appropriately, “Don Camillo und Peppone”
[Teresa's note: Ruini and Ratzinger!]

Then we went on a ‘Strudelfahrt’ on the Danube - no strudel, just a brief river cruise. For Regensburgers,
‘Strudel’ refers to the water eddies under the Stone Bridge.

Afterwards, I bought myself two Papa-books at the Cathedral bookstore – one about his Regensburg relationships,
Hier bin ich wirklich daheim” (Here I feel I am really home) [Teresa's note: I posted translations of some
‘chapters’ from this book in the RFC before we had an English section here
] which is very very beautiful.
The other book was “Werte in Zeiten des Umbruchs” (Values in a time of upheaval) which I did not previously
have, to complete my collection.

Today we will have an early meal at the beer garden of the Bischofshof, the place to be!

Here and there in Regensburg -

Around 20:30 the performance began in the inner courtyard of the Thon-Dittmer Palace on Haidplatz. The play is
a very lively, engaging comedy.

Do you know the relation between Jesus and Don Camillo? Jesus is portrayed here by an actor who, at the start
of the performance, leisurely ‘climbs’ a Cross that is on the stage and thereafter remains ‘suspended’ there.
From where he advises Don Camillo. For a moment, I thought, “Hmm- Popetown!” and someone behind me said,
“Do you think the bishop is pleased with this?”…But it all turned out to be harmlessly amusing.

Regensburg is wonderful. One comes across HIS footsteps everywhere (if you want to and know what to look for).
The warm summer nights make one all stirred up… And these many romantic narrow streets and corners….

It is getting even warmer.

After breakfast, we took a walk to Luzengasse. Georg has been back (from Rome) since yesterday! Someone from
the ZDF Bavarian state TV was in front of the house. He said he was to do an interview with Georg about the Pope’s
visit. All the windows were wide open, but unfortunately, not a sign of Georg.

So we went on to St. Emmeram Basilica. Above the main entrance is Papa’s coat of arms.

From there, we went to the Castle of the Princes Thurn und Taxis. No one claimed to know whether Gloria was
in town. It was OK by me, but I want HIS friends to be my friends too! [Simone, are you saying you’re OK
with Gloria now, and perhaps Alessandra
?] The castle shop is selling her autograph for 1 Euro!

But the weather was too beautiful to do a castle visit, and there was no one in the courtyard either. So we went
to the princely brewery, which looks like a castle itself. Even there was a TV team.

We asked the brewmaster what the motto of the Thurn und Taxis means – Habeo quod dedi. (I have what I gave.]

The motto goes back to the first Prince Thurn und Taxis ( almost like the dynasty founder) with this sense.
“I have really hanged myself [reingehaengt - may have a more idiomatic translation] and what I have created
thereby, I keep.”

In the realm of Thurn-und-Taxis - On the left is the entrance for paying visitors to the castle;
on the right is the princely brewery

Around 3 p.m., we attended the first Vesper at the Cathedral (it was the only time during the whole trip that
we had to dress warmer – it was so cold inside the Cathedral). The Domspaetzen sang under the direction of
Roland Buechner [Georg’s successor]. It was so beautiful - everything so fascinating, the wonderful singing,
the rituals.

We sat in the first row. The Cathedral was only a third full at best. Near me was a slender young priest with
thick dark hair who reminded me instantly of Papa as a young man!

After Vespers, I waited at the side entrance for Maaestro Buechner, but my darned shyness overcame me…
I didn’t know what to say, he said a friendly “Gruess Gott” to me, I said the same, and that was it!

Vespers on the eve of Corpus Domini-

Later, we walked through Luzengasse again (a window remained wide open) to the princely Brewery. We ate at
the beer garden – it’s pleasant sitting there. Then we went in to look at the first half of the Germany-Poland
game, but the Beamer-images were not good, so at half-time, we went back, passing by Georg’s house again –
the lights were on. Was he also watching football?

When one thinks that from this house there are visible and invisible links to Rome and Papa – a telephone line
that goes directly to him – that probably, at this very minute, they were talking to each other as we were passing by.
What a prospect!

In the Andechser, we watched the rest of the game. Later, sleep was out of the question – half the night, cars were
honking and people were screaming! [I suppose she meant in celebration of Germany’s victory over Poland.]

Corpus Domini

Again it is super-hot, 31 degrees Centigrade.

To spare my husband, I left the Mass in a rush. He was ready however to go with me to the University and once again
to Pentling. But there was something else.

From 8:30 on, one could observe from the hotel how many people, dressed in Sunday best, were headed
for the Cathedral. Meanwhile, we had breakfast and checked out.

Around 9:30, one could see the preparations for the procession on the south side of the Cathedral, as the main
entrance is under repair. Buechner was with his Domspaetzen as expected, along with student associations, many nuns…
The couple Richardi [Papa’s good friends from his university days, grandparents of the boy he was playing with
in that famous picture where he is on his knees
] marched at the very front. I didn’t see Georg. Archbishop
Mueller carried the Monstrance under the baldachin. Many people joined the procession. The bells pealed – a very
festive procession.

We proceeded to the University – naturally, a giant area – but I found the faculty of Theology and Philosophy.

Then we drove to Pentling, went by and around Papa’s house. One last look and then, we drove in the direction of
the town center, or what there is of it. We found the lodging house Altes Tor and ate a little something in
the beer garden. There was a lot of activity by the townspeople.

I asked if HE had ever been here. The waitress in tight leather pants and scant top nodded knowingly and pointed
to a picture that showed the audience that a Pentling delegation had with the Pope in Castel Gandolfo last summer!

First wave of 'marketing' the Pope's trip:

The preliminary rejoicing over the coming visit is already great. On the right, a photo of Islinger Field,
where the Papal Mass will be celebrated on 9/12

I will stop here for now. Dear friends, there is still a lot I could report, but now I need a pause. Plus, maybe
this has been to much for you???

No, Simone, nothing of this sort is ever too much for Benaddicts, so we are all awaiting Part 2 -
the famous or infamous Altoetting sojourn, I believe?

And we are all so very happy to finally meet your sainted husband virtually - he must be endlessly amused
that he has been 'adopted' by the Forum!

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 09/07/2006 6.03]

00Saturday, July 1, 2006 7:05 AM

I wrote my reaction to Simone's story on the Chatter thread but I would like to second what Teresa said in her comments at the end of the section above. We are all looking forward to Altoetting and we are glad to meet the sainted husband whom the forum has adopted. He is obviously a man of great patience and generosity.

I would like to make a comment about the photos. The ones that I felt especially moved by were the one of Papa with his hands folded in prayer with the city of Regensburg displayed behind him and then the juxtaposition of the old black and white photo of Papa and Maria at the fence in front of his house with Simone's recent color shots of the same spot. Despite the passage of 30 years, the scene was the same. Seeing that old photo of Papa and his beloved sister brought a lump to my throat. it was as if they were still there with Simone. Also, leaving the 3 roses at the grave was a lovely gesture. Respect, Simone!

00Saturday, July 1, 2006 5:19 PM
Ahhhhhhhhh Simone!
Oh Simone!!! I just read Teresa's translation (thanks Teresa!) of the first part of your trip to Bavaria... WOW! The pictures are great. I too was very moved by the photo of you at the grave of Papa's loved ones... WOW. Looking forward to the next part(s).
00Sunday, July 2, 2006 8:21 AM
A work of love!
Dear Simone,
Thank you so much for re-posting your pics on the English-speaking section and for the English translation [sorry - I think Teresa may have done the translation - thank you, Teresa!]
SO, Big Georg was back but not in sight. Oh, I do wish you could have spoken to him...and perhaps given him a hug from all of us.....and to tell him to pass it on to his brother! [SM=g27829]
I, too, was very moved by your photos of the grave and of you placing flowers there.
The whole holiday must have been magnificent. Thank you TONS for sharing it with us!!!!
Alle Liebe!
Mary x [SM=g27811]
00Sunday, July 2, 2006 1:48 PM
Perfect, Simone. A work of love, indeed. Thank you so much !!
00Sunday, July 2, 2006 4:47 PM
Elena in the main forum shares this story from korazym.org, that excellent Catholic youth site.
Here is a translation

Don Georg, the Pope’s personal secretary on the current World Cup in soccer:
On Tuesday, even the Pope will be watching TV to see the semifinal match
between Germany and Italy which will be played in Dortmund.
“He will be impartial; I will root for Germany,” says Mons. G

Italy-Germany. The great wait. Three days to talk, comment, judge, predict, prognosticate.
And to search around for various reasons of interest and curiosity.

Inevitably one thinks what it must be like ‘across the Tiber’ [Romanese for the Vatican]
where a certain German citizen, who has been a Roman by adoption for over two decades,
is also the Pope of the Universal Church.

What will Joseph Ratzinger be doing Tueday night? Will he watch the game? With whom?
Will he be cheering for one side? Will we be seeing a German flag waving from his
famous study window?

Questions half-serious and half-facetious which the news agency ADN-kronos posed to
Benedict XVI’s personal secretary, Don Georg Gaenswein. Who, quite amused, responds c
ompetently and with evident passion for the sport: “Yes, definitely.” The Italy-Germany
game will be the center of attention even within the sacred palaces of the Vatican.

In short: on Tuesday, the Pope will be watching the game on TV in the company of Don Georg
and the four lay women who take care of the Papal household. They will all watch it
on a maxi-screen (“a screen suitable for the occasion!”, says Don Georg), and each one
will be rooting for their respective sides.

There is no doubt which side the four women will cheer for: they are Italian and will
obviously root for the “Azzurri” [“the Blues” after the color of the Italian team uniform].

Little doubt about Don Georg himself. He says, “I’ll root for Germany!”

“Actually,” he volunteers, “I could have said that in the first half I will root for Italy
and in the second, for my Germany, but I would not have been credible! So I am saying
that I will be cheering for Germany only!” Hurrah for sincerity, and rightly so.

And the Pope? “The Pope is always impartial, and so on Tueday, his heart will be wide open
for Germany as well as for Italy,” says his secretary. A victory for diplomacy, in short.

"The Pope does not take sides, he prefers to just enjoy the game without being openly
for one or the other side." Although no one would be surprised or scandalized if he cheered
openly for his nation’s team. Impartiality is fine, but the World Cup is the World Cup!

”The Pope has been paying close attention to the events of the World Cup,” continues Don Georg.
“He is even knowledgeable about it, and insofar as his schedule allows him, he has been
following it a bit.”

Example: Friday evening, in front of the TV to watch the penalty kicks that qualified
GeRmany for the semifinals and eliminated Argentina, Joseph Ratzinger delayed dinner
a bit to finish the game.

”What heart-pounding excitement!” recalls Don Georg, and one imagines the two Germans –
the younger one with flag in hand and heart racing, and beside him a less tense but
equally interested Pope.

And it will be that way Tuesday night. What will happen during and after the game –
it’s too early to tell [the winner gets a chance to be 2006 world champion, the loser
will have to play the loser of the France-Portugal match for third place
]. But already,
the atmosphere is that of a big event!
And Ratzigirl has posted what appears to be the ADN-Kronos story itself. Here is a translation -

Papa Ratzinger makes the 'infallible' choice

The Holy Father has a weakness for the emperor. We are talking, of course, of Franz Beckenbauer,
known to Germans as the Kaiser (emperor) of football. This, according to Cardinal Tarciso Bertone,
football fan and commentator as well as incoming Vatican Secretary of State [who has referred
to Benedict XVI in the past as the Beckenbauer of the Catholic team

Papa Ratzinger’s favorite sports ace is the man who was the keystone of the Munich Bayern
team more than three decades ago.

Maybe it is because their stories are intertwined somehow. The same origin (Bavaria),
significant stages in their career in the same year 1977 (Ratzinger becomes Archbishop
of Munich, and Beckenbauer leaves Bayern ‘for adventure’ to play with the New York Cosmos!).

And even the same attitude, at least officially, about the semifinal match between
Germany and Italy on Tuesday. Kaiser Franz is the president of the World Cup organizing committee –
and no one doubts which side his heart beats for (among other things, he feels a need to repair
the personal ‘injury’ caused by the Mexican challenge to Germany in 1970). But his
official role imposes that he contains himself!

For his part, Papa Ratzinger, a German in the heart of Rome, delayed dinner to watch
the Germany-Argentina extension Friday night, but will not take sides in the semifinals game.
That means, infallibility in this case!

We have the word of Mons. Georg Gaenswein, the Pope’s personal secretary and also a Bavarian.
Who, however, openly states his preference. “The Pope will have his heart wide open for both
Germany and the Azzurri, but the secretary to His Holiness will cheer for Germany!”

Ganeswein keeps the flags of both nations in his study and hypothesizes about displaying
both flags from a Vatican window (“Oh, but if the Germans win….”). He disclosed how
Tuesday’s game will be followed in the Papal apartment.

Maxi-screen (“appropriate for the occasion”), and besides the Pope and himself, the four
lay sisters of Memores Domine who keep the Papal household. “They will cheer
for the Azzurri,” therefore in the Papal household, it is Italy-Germany 4-1, with the Pope neutral. …

Among the cardinals, some do not hide their obvious sympathies and some hedge their bets.

“Obviously I will root for Italy,” says Giovannin Battista Re. “Even if we Italians
are reputed to be less nationalistic than others, when the national team plays,
we are all for Italy.”

“This is a world championship, and therefore one expects that the better team will win,”
says Cardinal Achille Silvestrini. Who, however, keeps an eye on the news. “A victory
for Italy would revive the spirits of fans who have been mortified by the [recently revealed]
scandals affecting the game [and some players in the national team].”

A point of view that is shared by Mons. Gaenswein. “I think the best way for the Azzurri
is to show the world that they play cleanly, despite the scandal. It would be a victory
for Italian football.” Of course, he makes it clear that playing clean will not
necessarily mean beating Germany…..

And a third variation on the theme, this time from Orazio Petrosillo, Vatican correspondent
of the Rome newspaper Il Messaggero (and mentioned as a possible successor for Joaquin
Navarro-Valls as Vatican spokesman, or to Mario Agnes, editor of Osservatore Romano

ROME – The papal apartment, Tuesday, July 4, 9 p.m. Even there, they will be watching the
Italy-Germany semifinals match of the World Cup. With an internal ‘derby’ in the household.

Definitely rooting for Germany is Georg Gaenswein, the Pope’s secretary, a football lover
and still an active tennis player. Opposing him, an amiable and probably lively Italian claque
of women – Carmela, Emanuela, Loredana and Cristina, the four lay sisters who keep house here.

The second secretary, Mons. Mieczcyslaw Mokryzycki (Mietek), Polish of Ukfrainian descent,
will definitely cheer for Italy. And if valet Paolo Gabriele is there, another one for Italy.
But will the white-clad spectator among them help tip the lopsided scales ?

The Pope will cheer for both teams, Don Georg has revealed to ADN-Kronos [I will omit
details already reported above

So, the Pope will be an ecumenical fan. After all, he is the father of the universal Church,
but also Bishop of Rome and Primate of Italy. So he will be impartial.

But under those Papal robes beats a Bavarian heart. Which has a right to cheer its side.
And underneath his great theological competence is his private competence about football.
As a fan of Munich Bayern and as a German who has always followed the doings of
his national team from afar.

The Kaiser himself, Franz Beckenbauer, said so. On October 26 last year, when he met the Pope
at the general audience to give him the World Cup pennant, Beckenbauer said the Pope
did not only ask him about preparations for the World Cup but also how the German team
was doing, volunteering the opinion that “It seems to me they are doing very well.”
This was the time when Klinsman’s team was starting to show appreciable improvement
but before their 4-1 victory over Italy in March 2006.

Besides, those who know Papa Ratzinger well, like cArdinal Tarcisio Bertone, his incoming
Secretary of Satte, Juventus fan and occasional adjunct commentator to Marassi,
has always said that Ratzinger roots for Germany and that he had great admiration for Beckenbauer as a sportsman.

Therefore, impartial because of his office, but in his heart, one with the Panzers!
How much we would like to watch this household as they seat before the TV Tuesday night….

I love Italy, but we're talking football here, so when Germany is playing
(and Argentina has been eliminated)

Besides, as that Shanghai T-shirt said, 'ERST PAPST, DANN WELTMEISTER!'

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 02/07/2006 19.45]

00Tuesday, July 4, 2006 2:59 PM
Figurines of Pope Benedict XVI are produced at the Lladro porcelain factory in Valencia.
The figurine, around 30cms high and modelled on the day that Pope Benedict was elected is being produced for the upcoming papal visit 08-9 July to Valencia and will have a sale price of around 400 euros.

[Modificato da .Sue. 04/07/2006 15.06]

00Tuesday, July 4, 2006 3:59 PM
With all due respect - and Sue, this has nothing to do with you; you were simply doing a good job of reporting
what's out there - but I would have thought a firm with international renown like Lladro could have
commissioned an actual 'likeness' of the Pope rather than this! This 400-Euro porcelain piece is just as much
a travesty as any dime-store plaster statue one can get at any tourist trap near the Vatican.

What is it with manufacturers of statues that they all seem to be afflicted with blindness and cannot see
how unfaithful their 'images' are to the original? In the color picture, the face looks more like Donald Rumsfeld,
and the black-and-white image reminds me very much of a bushy-browed and rather dour Fox News host!

If mass manufacturers can manage to make porcelain dolls with picture-perfect faces, why can't they do it
for actual people? Why can't they get a sculptor with the eye and talent of our Danielle to execute a
cherishable likeness on which to model a figurine of our beautiful Papa?

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 04/07/2006 16.08]

00Tuesday, July 4, 2006 4:07 PM

Scritto da: TERESA BENEDETTA 04/07/2006 15.59
With all due respect - and Sue, this has nothing to do with you;

I know, dearest Teresa [SM=g27835] and I agree in 100% with you.
Nothing can be compared to the original! [SM=g27836]

[Modificato da .Sue. 04/07/2006 16.08]

00Tuesday, July 4, 2006 6:08 PM
[So who do you believe?]

Pope to skip World Cup contest?

Jul. 04 (CWNews.com) - Contrary to previous published reports, Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) will not watch today's World Cup soccer match between Italy and his native Germany, the I Media news agency reports.

Citing sources in the pontifical household, I Media says that the Holy Father will maintain his usual schedule, going to bed at 9:30. The World Cup contest begins at 9.

Earlier reports from Vatican officials had indicated that the Pope would watch the game along with the staff of the pontifical household. Vatican sources had claimed that the Pope would be impartial. The Pontiff had reportedly kept himself abreast of the World Cup results, discussing the games with his staff.

But Bishop Josef Clemens, who served for years as private secretary to the future Pontiff, confirmed that the Pope is not an avid soccer fan. "I don't know if he watched a single match," Bishop Clemens told Corriere della Sera. Contradicting the notion that the Pope takes a keen interest in the games, his German countryman reported: "I met with him a few days ago, but we didn't talk about the World Cup."

"As for myself, I will be in front of the television" during the Italy-Germany contest, Bishop Clemens said. The Pope's current private secretary, Msgr. Georg Ganswein, will also be watching the game in the papal apartments. Whether or not the Pope is in attendance, Vatican insiders that an enthusiastic crowd, with sharply divided loyalties, will follow the game in the apostolic palace.

Pope Benedict himself has made no public comment on the World Cup tournament, aside from general remarks before the games began, noting that such athletic competitions foster many human virtues. But some other influential Church leaders are known to be passionate fans. Prominent among them is Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone of Genoa, who will become the Vatican Secretary of State in September. Unabashed partisan, Cardinal Bertone said early in June that he hoped "the Italian team will make us proud."
00Tuesday, July 4, 2006 8:57 PM
Figurines of Papa
Yes - I'll accept the ORIGINAL any time!!!!!!
In anticipation......

Love, Mary x [SM=g27836] [SM=g27836] [SM=g27836] [SM=g27836] [SM=g27836] [SM=g27836]
00Wednesday, July 5, 2006 9:13 PM
Simone's trip & the fugurine
You're so lucky!! I have to say I was close to tears when I saw the photo of you putting the flowers on the grave. That is so beautiful and touching. [SM=g27821]

About that statue thing, why do they even bother if they don't even try to make it look like him? My brother collects alot of 12 inch movie figues, and he buys them from this one website called Sideshow Toys. They also do historical figures, like Napoleon and Abe Lincoln etc.. The figures are very realistic looking and the clothing is exceptional. I'm thinking they should make a 12 Papa figure. They probably won't, but a girl can dream can't she? [SM=g27829] [SM=g27828]

Oh Mary, I'd accept the ORIGINAL one anytime too!! [SM=x40801] [SM=g27836] [SM=g27838]
00Friday, July 7, 2006 3:10 AM
Papa Teddy Bear
Has anyone seen this one?

Someone is selling it on ebay. This is the first time I have ever seen it.

Here's the link:


[Modificato da PhoenixRising 07/07/2006 3.21]

00Sunday, July 9, 2006 5:01 AM

The postcard says "Greetings from the pilgrimage place Altoetting"
and the streamer reads "Encounter with Pope Benedict on September 11, 2006, in Altoetting

Corpus Domini

Around 2 p.m. we reached Altoetting. The hotel Zur Post is OK so far, everything is somewhat 'bajuwerisch"
(Bavarian). The location is absolutely tops, right on Chapel Square and the Gnadenkapelle (Mercy Chapel),
so near where everything happens.

Here is truly 'hard-core' Catholicism (forgive me for the expression) - so many shops with devotional items,
countless candles with Papa's picture, rosaries, crucifixes, etc, many items still carrying JPII, everything available
in quantities!

Then the Gnadenkapelle with its Entrance - unbelievable - all votive tablets...I went to see the Black Madonna -
the space is so dark, full of candles and silver, extraordinarily impressive, it would be very good
to pray there...But I couldn't budge my husband to go in!

Devotional items galore -

And more -

The Gnadenkapelle:

Entrance to the Gnadenkapelle:

I also visited the Pfarrstiftkirche (parish foundation church?). After asking around , I found the statue of
"Death in Altoetting" [a skeleton] that had so impressed the little boy Joseph. It can be found right next to
the entrance, high above a grandfather clock.

This place is teeming with nuns, monks, priests...By the entrance to the Gnadenkapelle are pilgrims carrying
crosses on their shoulder...They're praying everywhere...

Headquarters of the Marianischer Maennerkongregation (Men's Marian Congregation) - Simone's caption says
Papa's father was a member. [There is a video of Ratzi celebrating Mass in Altoetting to mark the 500th
anniversary, I believe it was, of the congregation

"Whoever wants to understand the poet must go to where he lives" (Goethe) - I can well understand that the boy
Joseph was extraordinarily impressed by all this, but that the place has apparently not lost its fascination for him
even now that he is a sophisticated intellectual sort of put me off a bit...But looking back, reading through my notes
and writing my thoughts out, I have been able to relativize things.

Altoetting cannot leave anyone unmoved, one cannot begrudge that to Catholics. Nor can one hope to detach Papa
from it, who, because of the visit in September, one sees waving everywhere! Either one reacts by total rejection
or one gives in to the atmosphere and gets drawn into it.

The sun shines into the room and wakes us up. Once again, it is summer-hot! They don't have a shower compartment so
the whole bathroom ends up under water.

We go for information to what is called here the Pilgrims Office. It seems impossible to be able to get any room
for September - the whole place is booked solid. Even our hotel Zur Post, whom we had asked earlier. The woman in
information said we should try calling in 2-3 weeks when they may have arranged some sort of a pool of available accomodations.

Sometimes I don't know that I really want to do this in September, when one can really see everything much
better staying home watching TV. Just like in Regensburg. Driving south of A3, we saw Islinger Feld [where
the Papal Mass will be held Sept. 12 - the large Cross is already up - but it is relatively far from the city center!

Now we are going to Marktl which is onyl 15 kms. away. THE HOUSE is of course immediately recognizable. We parked
quite near. They have placed a new plaque with new text on the right side. I can understand that the former owner could
no longer stand it - it is really a very pretty well-proportioned home - but when someone is always looking in on you...

We sat across the street and rested a bit. (Because) it is always said (he was) "born in Marktl am Inn", this place
has its own special magic if one has the antenna for it!

There is much activity at the house. People come and take photographs, but every so often, there is a lull.
The community has prepared everything well and in an orderly manner.

At the Information office, there is an exhbit on the Popes of the 20th century. A video of Papa's overflight of Marktl
on his return from WYD in Cologne is being shown, and of course, there are many bopoks and postcards about Papa.

A shop offers the now-famous Papstbier, a bakery offers Vatican bread...

I go to St. Oswald's, the church where Papa was baptized. HIS baptismal font stands once again near the altar.
The Church is peaceful and silent. I would have liked to touch the baptismal font, but even though the church was empty,
I could not get myself to step onto the altar area to reach it.

And this is on the wall in the pub in Marktl!
[We've all seen most of the pictures, except the one Simone enlarged on the left, whose caption reads: "Joseph Ratzinger
during a visit to Simbach-am-Inn, with the present parish priest Alois Messer and his brother Georg Ratzinger".
We don't know the year but both Ratzi and Georg look to be in
their 40s-50s here

We travel farther towards Tittmoning, about 30 kms away. A very pretty city square...I had already seen the house in
a picture once, so we located it right away. It is a saving bank now, with no indication at all about Papa, no info.
But while looking around, we did find on Wagnergasse behind the house a marker referring to Papa. I wondered that
the marker was almost hidden, but as usual, I could not find anyone I could ask.

[Simone's caption remarks: "The plaque is behind the house on a side street!"]

And on to Aschau-am-Inn, another 44 kms.- where all we could find at first was an industrial area, called Aschau-Werk.
We travelled farther without achiueving anything it seemed, until we reached the village, which seemed to be nothing
more than a single street. Thank God for the white-and-yellow banners, we found the house with a new memorial stone
before it. I was very happy - I truly found it a little piece of heaven....Then we went back to Altoetting, just 30 kms.

First a big beer...My husband went back to the hotel room while I returned to the Gnadenkapelle. There was hardly any
activity, I was a little muddle-headed, but I at still in a corner and found the place absolutely mystical. I felt well,
very well indeed, much better than yesterday - I felt very safe and protected!

We had dinner at the pizzeria on the other end of Chapel Square...Today everything seemed much more beautiful,
even my husband is content, we are both in good spirits...

Later we took a walk to the Konrad Brothers Fountain, by the linden tree that JPII had planted in 1980. I left my husband
sitting under the tree - he was somewhat tired. I walked further till the Basilica of St. Anne (Papa's coat-of-
arms over the entrance) - the church was of course already closed. It was almost dark but I continued to walk
around. I had nothing to fear, as everywhere I could see posters with Papa's face, so he was always with me.

I found it nice that many nuns and monks were still walking about, and there were some even in the Gnadenkapelle.
There were some white-clad "knights" [of a religious 'order', as in Knights of Malta?], who were still sitting outside
our hotel when we came back.

I find it nice that there are naturally a lot of nuns, monks and 'knights'. They ride around in bicycles, they sit
in cafes, they walk about. The [priests are in cassocks or in black suits with the Roman collar...Whereas back home,
everyone who wears long robes is Muslim, not Christian. Is that progress?

It is 22:16 and it feels like a thunderstorm and rain coming on...It would be good to cool off...31-32 degrees and
humidity the whole day can really wear you out...

During the night, the thunderstorms did come and it rained, the morning was somewhat gloomy, but it was hardly any cooler.
We travelled towards Burghausen, a picxturesque little town on the Salzach River. Nothing to see here about Papa, except a
little information marker for the "Benediktweg", so I got a map of the route from the tourist bureau
(also see www.benediktweg.info) ...One can cross over to Austria by foot over the Salzbach bridge.

In the old city is a magnificent square and a Street of Fame with honorary plaques for famous jazz interpreters,
among them Ella Fitzgerald, whom I love to listen to. A song from one of my old vinyl records comes to mind:
"All of me, why not take all of me.......you took that part, that once was my heart, so why not take all of me !“.

Then we drove up towards the longest castle in Europe - very romantic with plenty of cozey corners and wonderful
views (verrrrry romantic!). The Columbian artist Carmona has installed large impressive metal statues all over.

Around 3:30, we were back in Altoetting - we had to go to the underground garage because there was
no more space in the parking lot. Even the parking tickets here are 'papal'!

[The ticket is stamped "Meeting with Pope Benedict on September 11, Altoetting"]

I am going back to the Basilica of St. Anne - they are praying the rosary. I stay awhile, because I like it very much....
In front of the Gnadenkapelle a procession is starting, the Knights and others are there and they are going towards
the Basilica. Since yesterday, there have been so many people here, even a great number of priests in cassocks or
clergymen suits - and many of them are very young, which makes me think of HIM, of course, as always!

What did he do when he was here? Did he stand about and chat like these priests are doing? Did he sit with his friends
to eat in one of the restaurants?

I went into the Gnadekapelle again - this mystic place attracts me more and more. Today the bells do not seem to stop

We stayed awhile in our room and stepped out to eat around 7:30. The hotel restaurant is full - with marriage feasts
and baptisms being celebrated. We waited forever (to get a table), but fine, I had heard there would be
a night procession, so I sat happily and waited. In fact, the procession did begin around 9 p.m.

A whole lot of people took part, they went around Chapel Square, the parish priest prayed and sang over a loudspeaker,
the bells were ringing - crisis time for my husband, but he withstood it!

We drank some wine at the Italian place at the corner. Beside it is the St. Anthony bookstore - they have some terrific
sweet pictures of Papa in the window, including a life-size wonderfully painted portrait in which he looks
so lovable and innocent....

Around 5 in the morning, it rained very hard. It was a luxury, to stay in bed comfortably and watch the rain. But the sun
came out later, and once again it was warm and sunny. We check out otday. My husband has a bit of a cold, perhaps due to
the car airconditioning. I hope it doesn't get worse.

He learned to pray here - "Please let it be Sunday so we can travel on!...Please make the waiter come soon!...Please make
this vacation come to an end!...Please make my wife normal again!"

The bells have been ringing all morning...something is going on again in the square. After breakfast, we loaded our stuff
into the car, then we went round Chapel Square one last time. From the parish church we could hear singing, also from
the Assembly Hall. Even now, my husband will not go into the Gnadenkapelle. He wanted to see the "Death.." figure
but the Mass was just beginning in the parish church and there was a huge crowd by the entrance....So we let it be and
drove on towards Traunstein...

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 09/07/2006 5.44]

00Sunday, July 9, 2006 10:34 AM
Wow, thank you Simone, for this wonderful introduction to Ratzinger's bavaria!! For those of us who are unlikely to make the pilgrimage soon, this is the next best thing!! Your photos are wonderful.

Thanks Teresa for the translation!! Looking forward to Part 3....
00Sunday, July 9, 2006 1:34 PM
Hertzlichen danke, Simone / Teresa !!
I‘ve just read part 2 and part 3 (in the German section) and I don‘t know what to say, except DANKE, DANKE, DANKE!! I only know that a visit to Ratzinger-land is top priorety, next to Rome, on my holiday list. You‘ve cleared the track, so to speak, with great tenderness and love. Simone, Gott, sind wir dankbar, dass wir Dich haben !!

[Modificato da lutheranguest 09/07/2006 13.36]

00Sunday, July 9, 2006 7:35 PM
This concludes one of the most engaging travelogs I have ever read by a 'tourist' who saw and felt
the places she visited from a heart that sees and a mind that feels.

Thank you Simone, for your devotion to Papa, for your great writing ability, for your wonderful photos,
for your unusual reflections about religious practices, and for your captivating efforts to imagine what it must
have been like to be Joseph Ratzinger in the places where he lived and visited. I hope the translation does
some justice to all of it.

And thank you, 'dem geliebten Mann,' for letting Simone follow her heart, in the hope that you may understand
something of this holy passion that we share with her.


Since Traunstein was only 45 kms away, and we certainly cannot arrive at the hotel too early, we had time.
So we went to Seeon, once a monastery, north of Chiemsee.

We travelled over a pretty circular walk, by the Mozarteiche. Then farther on to Seebruck, where at a nice pub
on the shore of Chiemsee, we ate Ratzi-food (apple strudel). From there it would only be 12 kms to Traunstein.
This is all Ratzi-Land.

The Park-Hotel Traunsteiner Hof is a very pretty, somewhat old-fashioned hotel. One of those where they still
call the lobby a vesibule. But it has everything one needs: a beautiful, very spacious and airy room on the
third floor, very attentive and friendly staff, even a night concierge. Besides generous and comfortable guest
rooms, it has a beer garden where we could eat at night...

After eating, we took a little walk in the city, past Papa's 'Primiz" [first Mass] Church, St. Oswald,
which was already closed for the day. Outside there was the obligatory plaque with information about his
First Mass as priest, and his Silver and Golden (ordination) Jubilees.

Sunny and warm again.

We went to Tourist-Info. They said they only did the 'Benedict Walk' every 14 days - and this week wasn't it,
and they certainly would not do it just for two of us! But by my book, I thought we could do it by ourselves.
So the lady explained to us quite clearly the footpath to follow towards Hufschlag [the 'suburb' where
the Ratzingers lived
], showing it to us on the city map, and suggested a stop at the cemetery where we
could have a beatiful view of Traunstein and the surrounding mountains.

Traunstein is a magical little city, very nice shops and pubs, cafes, etc., and a pretty city square. We sat down
here to drink something, and I let my thoughts wander.

I imagined a small boy, 10-11 years old, with his school knapsack, going past the Jackl Tower, crossing
the city square, on his way to the Gymnasium [sshool]. What would he have been thinking or dreaming of?
(He wouldn't have had any problems with school...)

Did he kick at stones once in a while? Did he go sledding in winter? In summer, did he and his friends go
to Chiemsee to bathe in the lake? Probably not, since he was never a sports person.

What was it like to be a child who even as little boy enjoyed liturgy and his missal? Would I have found him
comical if I had known him then? Or would one have just simply loved him even then?

In the leaflet about the 'Benediktweg' (Benedict Way), I read that his mother had wanted him to join the
Redemptorist Order in Gars Monastery - near the Au monastery in the vicinity of Aschau, where he had received
piano lessons. Why did his mother want that for him? Doesn't a mother usually want a good wife for her son
and lots of grandchildren?

Or did she think perhaps that he would not do well in so-called 'normal life'? The monastery or priesthood
can be a certain shield against the normal world, especially when one is super-intelligent, but also super-
sensitive and tender and a bit awkward even. Perhaps that is why she must have asked his sister to look after him!

Now I am going to the parish church of St. Oswald. They have put up an information board about Papa and his
'Primiz.' No one else but me appears to be interested in it. Some people come in but to pray, and then they
leave after a while. I lit a candle.

Later, we took a walk to the pretty "Preacher's House", where Georg lived from 1958 to 1964, with their parents
until they died (the father in 1959, the mother in 1963). There's a huge construction project next to it now.

Then, farther on to what used to be the Humanities Gymnasium, now a music school. It is located in a terribly
noisy and busy crossroads. But even here, there is an information board about him.

We decided to drive towards Chieming and take the boat to Frauenchiemsee island where there is
a Benedictine nunnery. A boat ride is just what one needs in this hot summer weather.

Frauenchiemsee is very idyllic, I liked it better than Herrenchiemsee. We walked around a bit, then took
the boat back via Seebruck to Chieming.

Meanwhile, bad weather threatened. The sky was blue-grey in the west. Just before we docked, the first drops
of rain came. But the rain didn't bring the heat down. In the evening, the sun was out again.

Another wonderfully sunny but hot day.
Today we are going to Hufschlag, about 2.5 kms away from the hotel. It is part of Ettendorf. I did not know
that Traunstein
lies almost on a rocky outcrop. On three sides, the roads lead down to Traun...We had to ask several times
to find the way to Hufschlag.

They have renamed the little street once called Eichenweg (Oak Lane) to Pope Benedict-XVI Lane. The house
[that used to belong to the Ratzingers - Papa's father bought it when they settled in Traunstein] is uninhabited, somewhat neglected, but the grounds are well kept.

Beside the door is the obligatory plaque. The back part of the building is still used as a barn. Behind the house
is a newer residence, apparently that of the present owner.

They have put up a sign that says "Private Property - Trespassing prohibited". There was not a soul around,
but a cat was padding about.

The surrounding houses were, of course, not there before. There is a big tree in front of the house, so that
Papa, looking out now from what had been his room on the first floor facing south, would no longer be able
to look on his "house mountains" Hochgern and Hochfelln as he could when he was a child.

Perhaps the present owner is hoping for a nice deal like the owner of the Marktl house had.

We walked a bit farther into the oak forest west of the house. Some kind people had put up a bench - it is part
of the property. Next to it was a henhouse. The cat was there once again, and the hens came out as if to check
who was sitting there.

How pleasant it was to sit here in this cool wooded spot, and to reflect about how everything was and
how it has all turned out.

From the new house comes a lady with a baby, but she disappears into the neighboring house. TWo bikers goe by
and stop for a while. Once a minibus passed by but stopped for only 10 seconds.

Finally we decided to turn back. Quite a daily run for Papa then, every day to school in town and back, but
people then weren't so used to convenience as I am, for example.

We ended up, as always, in the city square, I drank a liter of Radler, and somehow, a certain restful effect
set in, just simply sitting there, watching, and feeling fine.

On the way to the hotel, we stopped by the entrtance to the City Hall, where they had a small glass case
of information about Papa - photos, newspaper clippings, town registry books, etc.

At 4 p.m. was the Germany-Ecuador match. I slept through all of it. At mealtime, back to the city square, and then
2 houses farther down, to a pretty cafe-bar where one can get 30 kinds of coffee!

When we got back to the hotel, the beer garden was still full, so we remained outdoors. It was a wonderful
warm summer night
and I wasn't keen to go to bed, expecially since I had slept in the afternoon.

Another extremely hot and sunny day, very humid, almost 31 degrees C. One feels rather lazy.

After breakfast, we rambled leisurely through the city some 1.5 kms to the archdiocesan St. Michael's seminary
and boarding school. It is nicely located, a bit on an elevation.

I went around the grounds, which has several spaces for sports, including an outdoor swimming pool and an indoor
one that had no water, a football field, and many other sports areas.

As usual, there was no one to be seen. A man was swimming in the pool by himself, he called out "Gruess Gott'
and I answered back. My inborn shyness made me wait until he was at the other end before I could take a photograph
of the pool...

I wandered undisturbed over the whole building, looked behind doors once in a while. Absolutely no one.

I think, Papa during his reportedly yearly visits to Traunstein, must have felt very well here at
the seminary, although he usually came during the New Year holidays, rather than in summer.

I imagined what it would be like when "His Eminence will be coming here", how they would prepare his room
or rooms, how they would send someone to the airport in Munich to get him (or would Thaddaeus Kuehnel also be
in charge of that?).

I imagine him arriving, getting out of the car, and then how we would take part in the daily routine, in the
Masses, at meals. Priests have it good, they are like an Elite Club, with the same rules everywhere, the biggest
club in the world!

We stayed a while in the area. As usual, no one else seemed interested but us...Then we went back slowly
to the hotel to sit in the beer garden! The heat has quite undone us today, so a nap is not unwelcome.

Around 4 p.m., we crawled back out and drove to the pilgrimage church in Maria Eck monastery near Siegsdorf.
Now we can't seem to do without monasteries and all this church business - it seems my husband is too weak to
resist it! - he even lightsd a candle inside the monastery church without a contrary word.

Since it is already late, there are hardly any visitors. Two nuns rustle around. A sense of peace dominates.
We go farther up to the Anthony Chapel, where it is very shady and one has a wonderful view over the Chiemgau
area and the Chiemsee (lake).

Papa must have been here often on outings from Traunstein, but there is nothing here to remember him by, and
I say nothing so as not to spoil my husband's mood.

It apparently rained again during the night, although the morning is sunny but somewhat cooler than yesterday.

After breakfast, we drove to Unterwoessen, where Papa many times took his vacations at the Bichlhof
belonging to the Merciful Sisters. We asked about how to get to the Bischlhof. The people were super-friendly
and explained everything clearly. So we found it easily.

There are two houses. And I find two nuns seated. The Bichlhof, they tell us, is the house located higher
up the slope. We go on up. I go in and find a friendly man at work.

He says, Yes, Papa used to take his vacations here, but he also stayed at Katharinenhof. He said there were
4 such houses here which served as vacation houses for the Merciful Sisters, and there were some here now.

I walk down to the other house. Meanwhile, three sisters have seated themselves on an outdoor bench. I ask them
if I may take their picture. Of course, they said, come in here (into the garden). I took some photos.

"Do I look OK?" asked one. "You shouldn't be vain," says the other. We chat a bit, There are five of them
on vacation here from Fulda. They take care of themselves, but they like the 'heavenly peace," etc.

I explain why we are here, that for two weeks we have been following Papa's tracks, and have amassed
hundreds of photos and a lot of news. Ohs and Ahs.

And how did we come to know about Bichlhof? From the leaflet on Benediktweg and from the prospectus of the area.
More Ahs and Ohs.

They asked what I intended to do with all the information I was gathering. I really did not know what to answer.
They thought I could use it for my church newspaper. I almost said I did not belong to their club.

I told them that I was an evangelical, but that I revered Papa. They found that OK - "After all, we are all
Christians." Amid an exchange of good wishes for the rest of our respective vacations, I left them, and
as we went on our way, they waved happily to us. That was a nice meeting.

I asked myself how it would have been when Papa was here on vacation. Would he have stayed in the same house
with the sisters? Or was he with his sister? Or with Ingrid Stampa? Or with his brother? Or did he have
the house all to himself? In any case, he certainly knew where it was nice, landscapewise, that is!

Now we travelled on towards Rimsting, where Papa's mother was born. I did not know exactly what to look for.
I learned too late that the bakery of the Rieger family, Papa's grandparents, still existed but now under
the name Brand...

Now we are in the Ratzinger Heights, and I thought, Papa has never been here, but up above is a guesthouse,
"Der Weingarten" with a fantastic view of the Chiemgau and the Chiemsee.

The view from Ratzinger Heights

And the first thing I find in the menu booklet is a newspaper article with a photo from August 1999 showing
that he did get here. I tried to photograph details.

Back in Traunstein, I went once more to St. Oswald Church to pray a little. Obviously one goes to Church
to pray and need not be embarassed about it. But this was always somewhat alien to me.

Tomorrow we will travel to Freising. I will leave Traunstein both laughing and weeping - it has such
a pleasant atmosphere and we have felt very well here.

It rained the whole night, but this morning, evertything is dry again. It is even sunny, but the humidity
has lifted.

We leave Traunstein and get to Freising after 1-1/2 hours driving, shortly after noon. Now I am looking
forward to meeting AnnaLena [one of the German regulars in the RFC and in our German section].

The Dorint-Novotel is well located, on the B-11, but one can get to the Old City in minutes and even
to the train station, so AnnaLena does not have to far to go.

Now that we are back in a big city, the people are not so friendly, and everyone who walks about
in long robes is no longer Christian but Moslem!

We meet AnnaLena at 3 p.m. in the hotel. It was wonderful to meet yet another member of the Forum, and
we had a lot to chat about!

We went to the Domberg (Cathedral Hill)... The Cathedral is closed for renovations, but one can visit
the cloister, the crypt, and by accident, we joined a tour group in the Baroque library.

The Diocesan Museum was just closing when we got there. I asked someone about Lerchfeld Court on the
Domberg, where Papa had lived with his parents at the beginning of his professorship. The man described
something to us, a red building near the courthouse, but we couldn't find it....Perhaps there wasn't
anything to see, but there was a lot to sense!...

We went back to the city to an ice cream parlor. We took some photos and considered where wwe would go
for dinner. AnnaLena suggested Weichenstephan, the oldest brewery in the world (even I have been there
before), once a monastery, now a technical college - we must ask how to get there.

Wwe passed by the ruins of St. Corbinian's chapel (in Freising, there are so many reminders of Corbinian)..

At the beer garden, we recounted and laughed much over what we have been doing and about my husband's 'time of
suffering'...Of course, about the "heart" of the matter, only us women could talk about that, so the most
important thing that had led us all to this, remained unspoken...

I am very happy that AnnaLena and I met. Finally, we went back towards the city, she towards the train station,
and us to the Hotel. Addio, AnnaLena! And auf Wiedersehen in the Forum!

Tomorrow we will be going back home. I am somewhat depressed since I do not want to leave my Ratzi-land and
have to go back to my daily routine.

Just a few more remarks in closing:
It is really important that one keeps a diary when one travels.
Now, in writing my notes cleanly and by reviewing and arranging the pictures, I can relive everything.
It has given me much joy, even if it has taken much time and effort to do. That's the power of love! [Last
sentence written in English

Because of Papa's coming trip in September, his picture was omnipresent in all the places we visited.
But in the actual places which mean a lot to you and me, I was truly always alone, even in the birth house
in Marktl. Not that I expected busloads to be there, but that there was hardly anyone else but me - I found
that rather surprising.

Even when I am asked after I returned, "Well, where did you spend your vacation?" and I answer, "In Bavaria,",
so the next question is "Really? Where exactly?"

Then I say my magic words, "Regensburg, Altoetting, Traunstein" like a formula, expecting to hear cries of interest
or of recognition, because I am thinking: everyone must know what's so special about these places...but no, nothing!...
Only "Oh really? Germany is so beautiful. did you have good weather?"

God, am I thankful that I have you [the Forum]!

And I thank my beloved husband, who had not the faintest idea beforehand what he was facing, but who despite
everything, could see the good aspects of our trip, although the limits of his 'tolerance' were a bit
overstepped now and then!

Amor omnia vincit!

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 09/07/2006 20.47]

00Sunday, July 9, 2006 8:06 PM
Thanks for sharing your adventure Simone! The pictures are beautiful, and your story is just fascinating!! I like the idea about keeping a diary when one travels, that was a very smart move!

[SM=x40799] [SM=x40799] [SM=x40799]
00Sunday, July 9, 2006 9:06 PM
There is a lot of information available in the captions, clippings and 'information boards' photographed by Simone, so I will need to some time to work on that, in between 'current news' translations, so bear with me, please!

Also, quite a few pictures we have not seen before of the younger Ratzi....Simone's trip is really a bonanza in more ways than one....

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 09/07/2006 21.07]

00Sunday, July 9, 2006 9:56 PM
Thank you Teresa and all of you !
Dearest Teresa, I thank you again and again for your unbelievable fast and perfect translation ! Can't imagine what to do without you. I would never be able to translate it, and if I would try it I would need years........

Also thanks for your kind and friendly words, particularly concerning my husband.

Did you notice, that the second name of Papa's sister was "Theogona" ? (To be seen on the town registry books) Whow ! Theogona !

And thanks to all of you, my dearest friends, for sharing this "adventure" with me ! Love you all !
00Sunday, July 9, 2006 10:21 PM
"Out of Bavaria"

Okay, she gets the Nobel Prize for Literature. No contest.

And you can see why I nominated her husband for sainthood. I love the part where he lights the candle in church.

I can hardly wait for the movie!!!

00Monday, July 10, 2006 12:05 AM
WOW Simone!!! Thank you so very much for sharing the journal of your travels through Papa's Bavaria. Thanks too to Teresa for translating. I can only imagine the great emotions you felt, but your words give me an idea. [SM=x40800] [SM=x40800] [SM=x40800]
00Monday, July 10, 2006 2:19 AM
Dear Simone
Reading about your trip and seeing all the fantastic photos.....absolutely fantastic. Vielen Dank!!!!! You're a super star. And Teresa, great of you to translate, as usual. Such a pleasure to read and absorb everything on this forum. Thank you!
00Wednesday, July 12, 2006 1:10 AM
Here is a translation of various items from the Italian press posted by our Italian sisters in the main forum,
with photos from Paparaxvi's videocaps of TV newsclips about Papa's arrival in Les Combes today.

"I am very happy to be back here on vacation in Val d'Aosta," said Papa Ratzinger, responding to newsmen's
questions upon arriving today in Les Combes. "I remember the generous welcome from people here last year."

The Pope did not fail to say something about vacation time for all Italians, "a very important thing," he said,
but inviting the faithful "not to forget the things of the spirit" during their holidays.

Many of those present, about a hundred people including parish priests of the area, offered the Pope bouquets
of flowers as well as a basket of typical food products from the area. The Pope greeted and shook hands with
many of them, who wished him a pleasurable stay.

The Pope will spend 18 days on vacation here. The Papal vacation villa, located at 1300 meters altitude
(about 3300 feet), is surrounded by forests of fir, spruce and larch.

Waiting to welcome him near the villa were the mayor of Introd, Osvaldo Naudin, the residents of Les Combes
district, and the children from the daycare school who recited for him a poem in Italian, French and the
local patois. They also gave him wooden shoes (sabots) and a walking stick, which they said he hoped
he could use during his stay here.

Asked by newsmen about his reaction to the outcome of the World Cup won by Italy, he replied: "Third place
for Germany seems good to me. Germany is in my heart, but I love Italy, too. I have been here for a long time."

He added that his brother told him jokingly that "the Germans could not have won because otherwise, we would
become too arrogant." He said he was unable to watch the third-place match-off between Germany and Portugal
because "I was in Valencia, but...third-place seems to me good and right."

The first day of the Pope's vacation was marked by the announcement earlier of a new Papal spokesman
to replace Joaquin Navarro-Valls, who spent 22 years in that position.

Navarro-Valls said last month that he had presented his resignation to the Pope, and obviously,
his actual resignation was timed to come after the Pope's visit to Valencia (Navarro-Valls being a Spaniard).

His replacement is Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, who has been the director-general of Vatican Radio.

The Pope will have only two public appearances while in Les Combes - the Angelus on July 16 and on July 23 -
which he will lead from the clearing next to his vacation home, as he did last year.

He is expected to spend the first week reading and writing, and will most likely limit his daily walk to the
gardens surrounding his vacation villa. In the second week, he may make a couple of mountain excursions.

He came to Les Combes with his personal secretary, Mons. Georg Gaenswein, and the four lay sisters
who keep house for him. They will occupy the Papal villa.

The Pope's doctor and other staff members will be lodged in the vacation colony of the Salesian fathers
near the Papal villa. The Salesians built the villa in 2000 after Pope John Paul II had come to Les Combes
to vacation for five successive summers.

Mauro Lorenzoni, who flew the plane that took the Pope from Rome to Aosta, recounts an impromptu overflight
of the area that preceded the papal landing today:

"We were already slightly behind our scheduled time of arrival, but this was not a problem because we were
in constant touch with the control tower at the airport in Aosta.

"When we suggested to the Holy Father a little tour over Val d'Aosta, he welcomed it happily. We flew
over Monte Rosa, Mote Cervino, the Grand Combin, Mont Blanc, and Mt. Rutor. We could not fly over
Gran Paradiso park because there are strict air traffic rules about that. But we flew over Introd,
the town in which les Combes is located, and we pointed out to him the chalet where he will be staying."

Upon landing in Aosta, the Pope conveyed to the president of Val d'Aosta, Luciano Caveri, his appreciation
of the aerial overview he had of the region from east to west.

Caveri, who welcomed the Pope in Italian and French, said "we are very happy that you have begun
your vacation by seeing the most beautiful part of our region."

The Pope emerged last from the Dornier-383 flight after it landed. He was greeted by lengthy applause.
The other officials who welcomed him included Bishop Giuseppe Anfossi and the mayors of Aosta and
St. Christophe. After the airport greetings, the Pope boarded a black Volkswagen Phaeton to proceed to Les Combes.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 12/07/2006 2.25]

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