As part of the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the UK, well-wishers are being offered an e-card to send to the Holy Father on or around 16th April to mark his 84th birthday.
His Holiness was born Joseph Alois Ratzinger in Marktl am Inn, Diocese of Passau in Germany on 16 April 1927 (Holy Saturday) and was baptised the same day. His father, a policeman, came from a family of farmers from Lower Bavaria. His mother, Maria, was the daughter of artisans from Rimsting on the shore of Lake Chiem. He spent his childhood in Traunstein, a small village near the Austrian border, thirty kilometres from Salzburg. On Tuesday 19 April 2005, the College of Cardinals elected Cardinal Ratzinger as successor to Pope John Paul II – the 265th Bishop of Rome and Successor of St Peter. Pope Benedict XVI is only the second non-Italian pope since 1522 – the other being his much-loved predecessor Pope John Paul II.
Well-wishers are also invited to post their birthday greetings and prayers on the Facebook page.
The e-card is part of an initiative called ‘Some Definite Purpose’ which aims to encourage people to contribute to the legacy of His Holiness’s visit; the initiative is being coordinated by the Home Mission Desk of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.
A Bishops’ Conference spokesperson said: ‘Just over six months ago the UK welcomed His Holiness to these lands and sending a birthday card is a small way in which we can express our thanks for his coming and wish him a very happy and blessed day.’
To find out more about the legacy of the Papal Visit please see:
Catholic Communications Network (CCN), tel. 020 7901 4800, email: email@example.com
Alternatively, Clare Ward, Home Mission Desk, tel. 020 7901 4818, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For the Holy Father’s biography please see: http://www.thepapalvisit.org.uk/Pope-Benedict-XVI/About-Pope-Benedict