“If we need an example of trust other than Mary, we can once again look to Pope Emeritus Benedict who simply surrendered himself to the Lord’s will. And by doing so -- we ever hope -- has won the crown of heaven,” said Bishop Edward Malesic.
The bishop celebrated Mass for the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God on Dec. 31, 2022, while remembering the life and ministry of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who died at age 95 earlier that day.
Prior to Mass, the bishop knelt before the altar with an image of the late pope to his right. He led the congregation in reciting an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be along with a prayer for the deceased pontiff. Similar prayers were offered in churches throughout the eight-county Diocese of Cleveland – and around the world – on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, 2023. The bishop asked that the late pope emeritus be remembered in all parishes during the weekend.
During his homily, Bishop Malesic referred to Pope Benedict as a humble and brilliant man and a great theologian. “His gentle smile, strong character, fervent faith and clarity of thought will not easily be forgotten,” he said.
The bishop recounted some of the significant events in Pope Benedict’s life including his relationship with St. Pope John Paul II, his election in 2005 and his resignation in 2013, referring to it as “an act of honesty.”
In addition to Masses this weekend, Bishop Martin Amos, retired bishop of Davenport, Iowa and a resident of the diocese, will celebrate a Mass for the dead in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist at noon on Jan. 5, the same day Pope Francis will celebrate the funeral for his predecessor.
Check the diocesan website for more stories about the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.