Prayers Offered for His Holiness Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus
“O God, who willed that His Holiness Benedict XVI preside over your family, not by any merit of his but out of the abundance of your untold grace alone, grant that he may continue to worthily celebrate your mysteries, faithfully serve your Church by his prayer, and love you with eternal charity. Through Christ our Lord.”
At the hour that Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation took effect, Catholics gathered in the chapel of the Basilica of Ss. Peter & Paul in Lewiston to offer prayers of thanksgiving for his ministry and to pray for his continued health and happiness.
Monsignor Marc Caron, pastor of Prince of Peace Parish, led those gathered in praying the rosary, using mysteries that he wrote especially for the occasion.
Approximately 60 people attended the 2 p.m. prayer service, saying they wanted to show their appreciation and to offer prayers for the emeritus pope.
“I wouldn’t have missed it. I wanted to pray for him, in thanksgiving, and to help him as he goes on,” said Margaret Marcotte, a Prince of Peace parishioner. “Also, I think it was very important for the Church as a whole, for the Body of Christ, to stand up together and come together in prayer at this time.”
“He’s just such a wonderful pope and is so wonderful with his teachings,” said Claire Gauvin, a Prince of Peace parishioner. “He just seems so full of love and gentleness."
The parishioners say they admired His Holiness Benedict XVI for making the difficult decision to resign. At age 85, the emeritus pope stated that his health and strength, due to his advanced age, were “no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.” Pope Benedict XVI is the first pontiff in 600 years to step down.
“I like his courage, deciding to resign like he did,” said Frank O’Connell, a Prince of Peace parishioner.
“His deciding to step down from the papacy, I think took a great act of courage and strength on his part, and I really admire him,” said Louise Fecteau, who also attends Prince of Peace.
“I’m going to miss him as the pope, but he will still be among us. And I am going to trust that the Holy Spirit will bring us another great pope,” she said.
The emeritus pope is currently residing in Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer residence south of Rome. He arrived there about two-and-a-half hors before the end of his pontificate. After entering the residence, the pontiff immediately proceeded to the balcony where he made his last public appearance as Pope Benedict.
"I am a simple pilgrim who begins the last stage of his pilgrimage on this earth," he told the crowd. "But with all my heart, with all my love, with my prayers, with my reflection, with all my interior strength, I still want to work for the common good and the good of the Church and humanity.”