Today, April 16th, His Holiness Benedict XVI, by the grace of God our Pope, celebrates his 80th birthday. It was declared a holiday in the Vatican and every Vatican employee received a cash bonus of €500. Cool.
Don't forget to drop the Holy Father a message for his birthday and let him know how much you love him and appreciate his ministry and his yes to God.
You can click on the link here which will take you to the Vatican website where you can leave your greeting.
Here' what I wrote:
Dear Holy Father, as you celebrate your 80th birthday, know that you are in the prayers of the millions who love you. We wish we could be with you and share in your joy. We raise you up in prayer as you raise us up.
Thank you, Holy Father, for saying 'Yes!' to God's call and for your gift of self. When you came into the world 80 years ago, you came as a gift from God to your parents and your family. In your answering His call to the priesthood, in taking up your cross daily and following Him, you have given Him back that gift and by placing your life at His disposal, you have multiplied His gift with which He now blesses the whole Church.
In Mary's fiat, God was made incarnate and came into the world for our salvation. In your own fiat to God, you have allowed yourself to be made into a channel through which God's grace is made manifest to His Church.
When the beloved Pope John Paul II returned to the Father's house, we all felt a deep sense of lost. Since then, we have embraced you as Father, and through your warmth, humility and kindness, you have filled the void left by the late Servant of God. In your life and though your love, we see a glimpse of the Father in Heaven, who is Love itself.Happy Birthday, dear Holy Father. May the Good Lord continue to bless you and guide you in your path and grant you length of days and health in mind and body. May you feel His Hand on your shoulder, steering you through adversity. May He bear you up with His Mighty Arm and lift you when things seem hopeless. May you feel the comfort of His presence always, all the days of your life. May the intercession of all His saints be with you and may Mary Most Holy, Mother of Jesus Christ Our Lord and God whose vicar on earth you are, cover you with the protection of her mantle. Ad multos annos!
Pope Benedict XVI
Oremus pro Pontifice nostro,
Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum ejus.
Let us pray for our Pope,
May the Lord preserve him and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. Amen
For those who are Papist to the core, let's end this post with a rousing rendition of 'Long Live the Pope!'
Long Live The Pope
The music can be found here.
Long live the Pope!
His praises sound
Again and yet again:
His rule is over space and time:
His throne the heart of men:
All hail! The Shepherd Pope of Rome,
The theme of loving song:
Let all the earth his glory sing
And heav’n the strain prolong.
By the foes of earth,
Beset by hosts of hell,
He guards the loyal flock of Christ,
A watchful sentinel:
And yet, amid the din and strife,
The clash of mace and sword,
He bears alone the Shepherd Staff,
The champion of the Lord.
Then raise the chant,
With heart and voice,
In Church & school & home:
"Long live the Shepherd of the Flock!
Long live the Pope of Rome!"
Almighty Father bless his work,
Protect him in his ways,
Receive his prayer, fulfill his hopes,
And grant him length of days!