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Benedict XVI's spokesman: Storm at WYD 2011 is a metaphor for Benedict's pontificate


In 2011, Madrid was rocked by thunder and lightning during World Youth Day. 

Pope Benedict XVI's spokesman remembers the scene well. 

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI
President, Joseph Ratzinger Foundation
"After the storm there was a great peace, total silence, with adoration in the great monstrance of the Cathedral of Toledo. At the center of this massive gathering was Jesus as the Eucharist."

That sensation of peace and silence felt by over a million young people gathered in Madrid that day had a special meaning.

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI
President, Joseph Ratzinger Foundation
"For me it was truly one of the high points of Benedict's pontificate. It was a metaphor for his whole pontificate. After the problems, storms, tensions...one arrives at the final point of adoration and union with God in peace, before Jesus Christ present in the Eucharist."

Fr. Federico Lombardi participated in a forum organized by the Ratzinger Foundation and Rome Reports for the 70th anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI's ordination to the priesthood. An anniversary that is very special for the Pope Emeritus. 

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI
President, Joseph Ratzinger Foundation
"When in his autobiography he speaks of his priestly ordination, it is very clear that it is the fundamental moment, the key event, from which his life then unfolds as one of service, of deep love for God, and of study."

Pope Benedict XVI understood that this spirit of service should be reflected in the Mass as a sign of full respect for the liturgy.  

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI
President, Joseph Ratzinger Foundation
"I did not notice any particular mystical moments, such as an expression of an extraordinary devotion or something outside our Christian experience. He was always in a state of perfect calm and profound participation."

Federico Lombardi was the director of the Vatican Press Office from 2006 to 2016. As one of the main witnesses of Benedict XVI's pontificate, he now chairs the Joseph Ratzinger Foundation. 

AO

TR: JM