BENEDCT XVI NEEDS OUR PRAYER
A GERMAN JOURNALIST CALLS TO SAY THE ROSARY WITH THE POPE
Włodzimierz Rędzioch talks with Paul Badde
WŁODZIMIERZ RĘDZIOCH: – How was the idea of the campaign born: ‘The rosary prayer with Benedict XVI’ and why does the Pope need our prayer and solidarity now?
PAUL BADDE: – Why just now? - because these are probably the most difficult days of the pontificate of Benedict XVI. Like never ever, devilish attacks touched him so close and he lost his confidence placed in the people dearest to him. Since they are attacking him so close, we must also show him our closeness through a prayer.
– John Paul II is considered as the ‘Pope of rosary’, who paid much attention to the rosary prayer and even edited an apostolic letter ‘Rosarium Virginis Mariae’ – about the holy rosary; it is thanks to him that ‘the prayer of the little ones’ again became a full-fledged prayer of the Church. Benedict XVI – Pope Theologian and Pope Intellectualist – not associated with rosary, although he regularly says the rosary prayer...
– That’s true that John Paul II was a great ‘Pope of rosary’ (anyway all popes of the last centuries were like him!). He lived and ‘breathed’ with rosary to which he also added the mysteries of light. When people will forget that the Soviet Union existed, like they forgot the invasions of the Mongols, they will always remember the mysteries of light and the Pope who introduced them. But also Joseph Ratzinger comes from the same ‘school’ as John Paul II – as a child he appreciated the rosary prayer, whereas as a cardinal he did not have time to say the whole rosary (he confessed it to me during one of our meetings). Therefore it is astonishing that today as the Pope – despite the loads of work which he has to do – this great theologian can find time to immerse himself in the ‘prayer of the little ones’ every day. And because he is a very conscientious person, we can say that he enriches the Church with the ‘Papal rosary’ every day.
– When does Benedict XVI say the rosary?
– In summer, after introducing the summer time the Pope begins the rosary prayer at 6.45pm everyday – he prays with his personal secretary prelate priest George Ganswein, walking in the Vatican Gardens, near the cave from Lourdes. Apart from the summer time, when days are shorter, the Pope goes to the Gardens for a prayer earlier at 4.15pm, whereas in his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, prays, walking in the alley, in the shadow of green oak-trees, and at the end he stops at the figure of Our Lady standing near a pond with fish. When the weather is bad, the rosary is said in the Apostolic Palace.
– Does the Pope say the rosary with the secretary in German?
– Partly in German but also in Latin and Italian; whereas in the end they recite ‘Regina caeli’.
– What should a believer do who would like to say the rosary in the spiritual connectivity with the Holy Father?
– It is very simple – he should do a sign of the cross and start the rosary prayer at 6.45pm (in summer) or at 4.15pm (apart from the summer time). There is no special organisation and everybody can do it, on his own or with family, in a parish, within religious movements or associations. One can pray at home, in a church, during a journey, in the street. The most important thing is that the prayer in the spiritual connectivity with the Pope should enrich us and make our short time similar to the Pope’s day at least.
It is not enough to pray for the Pope, at this difficult moment of his pontificate we should say the rosary with Benedict XVI, in the spiritual connectivity with him. The initiator of this prayer action is a German journalist Paul Badde. In Poland he became famous as the author of the ‘sacral criminal book’ entitled ‘Divine Face’, describing the history of uncovering the shawl from Manoppello, on which the real image of Jesus is. Badde has been living in Italy for a long time, because he has been a roman correspondent of the journal ‘Die Welt’ for years. At present he edits the German monthly ‘Vatican’ which appeared in 2006., a short time after the election of the Cardinal Ratzinger to the Holy See. Badde lives just near the Gate of St. Ann, the main entrance to Vatican and I sometimes meet him there. When we met at the beginning of June, told me that he had begun a media campaign in order to encourage people to say the rosary with the Pope. He really cared about it because he was constantly returning to this topic. So, I asked him to explain what it was specifically about.