Benedict XVI Has Always Been an Easter Baby


National Catholic Register, 16 April 2017

Joseph Ratzinger has lived his 90 years in a liturgical key, and it began as a newborn.

Easter Sunday is the 90th birthday of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Born on April 16, 1927, he was a Holy Saturday baby, born the day that God is dead, the day of the tomb.

Joseph Ratzinger has lived his long life in a liturgical key, and it began as a newborn. In 1927 — before the reform of Holy Week by the Venerable Pius XII — the Easter vigil was celebrated in the morning of Holy Saturday. So little Joseph was taken to the church the same morning of his birth and baptized with the newly blessed Easter water. Born on the day of the dead God, he was reborn by water and the spirit into the new life of the Risen Jesus.

“Holy Saturday: the day God was buried; is not this the day we are living now, and formidably so?” wrote Ratzinger in one of his hundreds of incomparable biblical meditations. “Did not our century mark the start of one long Holy Saturday, the day God was absent, when even the hearts of the disciples were plunged into an icy chasm that grows wider and wider? And thus, filled with shame and anguish, they set out to go home; dark-spirited and annihilated in their desperation they head for Emmaus — without realizing that he whom they believed to be dead is in their midst.”

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