Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Pope visits birthplace in Marktl am Inn; he considers it a "place of warmth and family"

Pope visits place of birth in Marktl am Inn

Marktl am Inn, Sep. 11, 2006 (CNA) - During the third day of his trip to Germany, Pope Benedict XVI visited hometown of Marktl am Inn, which he has always considered a “place of warmth and family.” The Pontiff shook hands with residents and prayed at the church in which he was baptized.

Benedict XVI remembers little about this town, as he only spent the first two years of his life there. A few hours after being born, on April 16, 1927, he was baptized by Father Josef Stangl at the Church of St. Oswald, with the name “Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger” in the baptismal waters of the Easter Vigil.

The Holy Father once wrote, “To be the first to be baptized with the Easter water was taken as a sign of a special calling.” That the beginning of his life was marked by the mystery of Easter has always been a source of joy and gratitude to God for him.Marktl am Inn has always maintained close ties to the Holy Father. In 1997, residents conferred upon him the title of “Illustrious Citizen,” on the occasion of his 70th birthday. After a Mass in the parish where he was baptized, then Cardinal Ratzinger was surprised to discover a commemorative plaque that had been on the side of the home where he was born.


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