Today there is another Mass for a dead Pontiff to be observed at the Vatican Basilica. Today we have Blessed Pope Benedict XI.
This is a Pope most of you don’t know about, I bet.
When the famous (infamous?) Boniface VIII died in 1303, Niccolò di Boccasio was Master of the Dominicans was elected. He had been one of the defenders of the papacy when Boniface was captured at Anagni. When he was elected Pope, Benedict did little to impose Boniface’s bull Unam sanctam. He died after only 8 months.
Using the Proper for Pastors (Statuit) here is the…
Deus, qui Beatum Benedictum papam
benedictionis tuae gratia ad caelum sublevasti,
concede propitius ut, eius intercessione,
et tua in nobis dona multiplices,
et tempora nostra in pace disponas.
O God, who raised blessed Pope Benedict
to heaven by the grace of Your blessing,
kindly grant that, by his intercession,
both that you multiply Your gifts in us,
and that you settle our times in peace.
Think of the turmoil of our times. Think now of the turmoils of the past, in the Church and in the world at large.
The Church is the greatest expert on humanity the world has ever known. There is a vast store of knowledge and experience we can draw on when considering our own times and when mapping our course for the future.
Holy men and women faced terrible challenges in the past and came through to win crowns of glory and pass on the torch to new generations. We are called upon to do the same.
Today ask God -by the intercession of Blessed Benedict – to settle and dispose our own times in peace, both in respect to the world at large and our own little corner of the world.