Happy 7th Anniversary to Pope Benedict XVI!

Today is the 7th anniversary of the election of Benedict XVI.

Ad multos annos!

Please pray for the Holy Father, today and every day.

Do you remember where you were when you heard the news? I ask this every year (and asked it the other day too, when I improperly scheduled this post), but it is always interesting to see your stories.

Someone sent me a link to a video of the coverage of the moment of the announcement. I was working for Fox News at the time and had the honor of being the guy who gave some color commentary.

Here is some Benedict swag from my swag store.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Rich says:

    It would be cool if there was some definitive news today about the reconciliation of SSPX with the Church. In that case, the number seven would play a significant role of the reconciliation of traditionalism in general with the Church under Benedict XVI. He released Summorum Pontificum on 07-07-07, and on or around the seventh anniversary of his pontificate, SSPX would be reconciled with the Church. Cool.

  2. Titus says:

    Hmm, I was on the top floor of my college’s history-department building at my campus job during my junior year. Saw it on the computer.

  3. pawelthegreat says:

    I was in grade 8 doing homeschooling.
    So I was lucky enough to watch it live!
    This Pope is truly amazing. God bless him!

    “Transitional” Pope!? Yea, OK there.

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  5. Jim of Bowie says:

    I will never forget that moment of pure joy when I heard the name Joseph Ratzinger. Unfortunately I wasn’t tuned to Fox news. Thanks for letting us relive the moment.

  6. introibo says:

    I RARELY watch TV…we don’t have cable and get in two channels..but on this day, I ran to the set to get in the snowy local news station.and waited and waited. My kids (homeschooled) remember this, as he’s the first Pope they’ve seen chosen.

  7. Jenice says:

    My 2 daughters and I were homeschooling with the TV tuned to EWTN just in case there was an announcement. My husband walked in from work just as they announced our new pope. We were, and are, overjoyed that Cardinal Ratzinger became our beloved Holy Father.

  8. Tradster says:

    Remember when Pope Benedict was announced, the liberals’ talking point was that he was just a harmless placeholder for no more than 5 years, then they could elect a pontiff they really wanted? If/when the SSPX does reconcile you can bet more than a few of them, at least privately if not publicly, will be regretting that he has lived beyond their expectations.

  9. tjtenor2 says:

    I was a junior in college and was downtown Chicago at the Art Institute that day for a class assignment. When I got out of the museum, I had some ecstatic voicemails from a friend of mine letting me know that Cardinal Ratzinger had been elected pope. I started jumping up and down out of giddiness on the sidewalk along Michigan Avenue :-).

  10. BaedaBenedictus says:

    I loved the EWTN coverage of the moment. Hosting was Raymond Arroyo and the dear, departed Fr. Richard John Neuhaus. Fr. Neuhaus was always such a cool, collected customer, so the emotion pouring out of him at the announcement of the name Ratzinger was a delight to see. Fr. Neuhaus was, safe to say, tickled beyond belief!

  11. Geoffrey says:

    I was working in a veterinary hospital at the time. It was surgery day and so I was able to check the internet every so often (like every 5 minutes!). I became so nervous when I saw the headline “white smoke!” I feared a Cardinal Martini, and prayed for a Cardinal Ratzinger. I called my mother (who was also at work, but without internet access) to let her know that “habemus papam”!

    Then after some nervous pacing, I decided to click on the “watch live” option, figuring even though I was at work, this was history… the last time this happened I wasn’t even born yet!

    One non-Catholic co-worker joined me and watched. When Cardinal Medina Estevez said “Iosephum”, it didn’t make think of Cardinal Ratzinger because I wasn’t sure how many Joseph’s were in the Sacred College. I waited on the edge of my seat waiting for the surname, and when it came, I literally slapped my knee and said something like “I can’t believe it!!!”

    My co-worker didn’t understand what was going on and I simply said that I knew which cardinal it was. I then called my mother again and kept her on the phone during the Holy Father’s first blessing. On my lunch break, I went to daily Mass, where the celebrant used the votive Mass texts for the new Pope. I was on a spiritual grace-filled “high” all day, and for several days thereafter!

    Deo gratias! Laudetur Iesus Christus! Viva il Papa!

  12. Choirmaster says:

    I was at home, delaying going into work as long as possible. I fortuitously decided to turn-on EWTN to see if anything was happening with the Conclave. White smoke (or whatever smoke), big bell ringing, and the Cardinal Protodeacon says some thing “blah blah blah Ratzinger!”

    I walked into work and saw the resident neo-nazi wannabe and I said “Hey, Bob!” Instant reply: “We got’im!”

    (He wasn’t really a neo-nazi, just a wannabe, and the prospect of a German Pope was a little inside joke around the shop during the Interregnum.)

  13. disco says:

    I was at Boston College at the time and I attended my first Latin Mass the Sunday after his election, appropriately at Holy Trinity in Boston which in addition to hosting Sunday mass in the traditional form was also a German national parish. I heard grumblings that a lot of the Jesuits were unhappy with the pick, so I knew we were in for a fantastic pontificate.

  14. Gregg the Obscure says:

    I was in the car on the way to the groundbreaking ceremony for a new building for my employer. I’m currently located in said building. I’ve got a memento of that day at my desk: a letter opener shaped like a shovel bearing the company logo and the words “Groundbreaking April 19th, 2005”. Groundbreaking indeed.

    I had a couple of passengers in the car who, though they were devout, didn’t know much about Cdl. Ratzinger. I shared much of what I then knew about him.

  15. Cath says:

    My first thought as I watched on TV was of my RCIA director when I was confirmed. I had heard her say many years before Pope JPII died that we would not have our way until he was gone. I tried to imagine what was going through her mind when they announced Joseph Ratzinger.

  16. iPadre says:

    I was running the back hoe at my parents. As soon as I heard there was a new Pope, I ran inside to hear the announcement. I was just blown away. Always hoped Cardinal Ratzinger would be the next Pope, but never though it would happen!

    I always thank God for Pope Benedict XVI. He is a great man and a great gift to the Church! Pope of the New Springtime.

  17. akp1 says:

    I was coaching gymnastics and had my phone on standby for my eldest son to send me a text message if any news came – I was unsure when I heard the name, as I hadn’t always read the right things! But thank God indeed that He knew what He was doing! (and now I always read the ‘right’ web pages!). He is in good health – I hope and pray that he really does have a good number of years left.

  18. ajf1984 says:

    I was away at a small, authentically-Catholic college. As soon as the white smoke appeared on the big-screen tv that had been hooked up in the cafeteria (to watch coverage of the conclave), students ran around campus telling everyone who wasn’t already there to get to the cafeteria to watch the announcement. Our Angelus bell was rung extremely exuberantly at the same time. I had the privilege of being in the same room as a certain Jesuit-former-student of His Holiness, who, true to his Italian heritage, wept tears of joy when the name of his former professor and friend was announced. Oh, and I recall at least one habited Sister from our Theology faculty leap in the air when he was announced. An amazing time, especially for this young Catholic who had only ever known Bl. Pope John Paul II as Pope! Ad multos annos!

  19. ProfKwasniewski says:

    I was teaching at the time at the International Theological Institute in Gaming, Austria. When John Paul II died, there was the mournful ringing of the local church bell, which always had such a prominent role in this tiny village, calling us all to attention when Mass would begin or some other special event. So, subsequently, when Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Pope, the church bell started ringing like crazy, and everyone knew that we had a new Pope, because the bell would not be going like that for no good reason. We rushed over to the only house we knew that had a television (most of us in that community were, shall we say, down on TV!) and as we were running into the town square, friends of ours were shouting out of a third-story window: “It’s Ratzinger!!! I can’t believe it!!! Raaaatziiiiingeeeer!!!” What a moment. What a day. And what bells!

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  21. cornelius74 says:

    I was attending a Mass at the Dominican monastery in Prague, when, just after the sermon, a brother rushed from the back to the celebrating priest to whisper something to his ear. Suddenly, the whole church knew – Habemus Papam! Well, what else could it be, what would bring such interruption into the divine service, right? Then the priest said WHO was elected, and I recall the spontaneous joy among all of us there, immediately jumping to prayer for the new pontiff. As a matter of fact, I initially did not intend to go to a Mass that day, since it was a weekday. But I had time before a meeting with friends, so I just went. I was freshly “re-born”, actually, having been baptized just on the Easter Vigil on March 25, so only three weeks before the conclave. What a gift the Lord added to my already overflowing heart that day!

  22. Timothy Mulligan says:

    I will never forget. During noon mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, the auxiliary bishop announced that a pope had been elected, but that his name was not yet announced. After Mass, I hurried down to Rex Pizza, on the 1500 block of Race Street in Philadelphia. It’s owned by a nice Greek Orthodox family. They had it on television. That’s where I watched the announcement.

    Seven years later, I’m more grateful than ever for the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI.

  23. Scarltherr says:

    My son was 4. My husband was working. We had Fox News on. I ran to the door and yelled, We have a Pope! Then the family started calling. God bless Benedict XVI!

  24. benedetta says:

    Unfortunately at the time I was attending a parish which dissented from the Church’s core teachings and when the election occurred I had bought the conventional kool aid proffered by fellow parishioners that the election was a harbinger of bad times on the horizon. But, thanks be to God shortly after I began following the Holy Father’s weekly audiences and, the more I read that he said and had written, the more convinced I was that he was the correct man for the times and felt furthermore that his election was a profound blessing for the Church. I credit him personally with my conversion therefore. Viva il Papa!!!!

  25. Laura R. says:

    I was at home in the middle of having my house painted, and was still Anglican with no serious plans to convert. As soon as I heard “Josef” I leaped out of my chair with a joyous shout of “It’s Ratzinger!” Five years later I was received into the Church, and I remain deeply thankful and honored to have done so during his pontificate. Happy anniversary indeed, dear Holy Father!

  26. ppb says:

    I’m sure I post this story every year, but I love telling it. I was unemployed at the time, and feeling rather low. I got up and prayed that morning, and had a distinct impression that I would receive two pieces of good news that day. So, tentatively hopeful, I went out to get some groceries. When I returned, I got online to see what was happening with the conclave, and was just in time to watch the white smoke and the announcement of Benedict XVI. Immediately afterwards, I received a call offering me a temporary job. Those were my two pieces of good news that day!

  27. Kathleen10 says:

    I mentioned this in a post the other day, so I won’t be repetitive, but it is a moment that stands out sharply in my mind. I hope it always will.
    After the very mournful and moving funeral of John Paul (the Great), it was a sobering time of waiting for a new holy father. It was exciting, but it carried that anticipation that can be nerve-wracking. Cardinal Ratzinger was one of the few I really felt I knew about, certainly his good reputation was in my mind, and I dared hope he had a chance, if the Spirit moved the electorate.
    The words “Habemus Papem!” were said so joyously, or it seemed to me they were, and it WAS a joyous moment! So joyous, and when the name was said, what can I say, it was SUBLIME.
    The pealing bells, wow. They sung!
    I was alone at home, but, I felt I shared the experience with Raymond Arroyo and yes, Fr. John Neuhaus, both such treasures and friends of the church.
    Thanks be to God for the incredible blessing of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict VXI. We did nothing to deserve him, but God blessed us anyway. Vive Il Papa! I think that is the saying.

  28. AdTrinitatemPerMariam says:

    I was in 5th grade. The election and announcement happened right around our lunchtime and recess. Since my Dad worked a couple blocks away from the school, he would typically come over on his lunchbreak, and we would visit through the fence. ;-) My Mom and older brother were home watching the TV. My Mom called my Dad just before he left for his lunchbreak; at that point, we knew that a new Pope had been elected, but it hadn’t yet been announced who it was. So when Dad came over to the school, he told me the news. I told all my classmates and teachers. The teachers didn’t believe me, but a little later that afternoon, our principal came on the P.A. system and made the announcement that we had a new Pope. :-)

  29. NoTambourines says:

    Where was I? I was in grad school, but home that day in my apartment living room. I’m of Bavarian ancestry, and remember excitedly texting a relative that we got a German pope!!!

    I was born in 1979, and John Paul II was the only Pope that I had grown up with into my mid-20s, so one of my first thoughts was how much of a challenge it might be to learn to remember to say Pope [Different Name] and not “Pope John Paul II.” But finding out who God was going to give us as our next pope was the anticipation of a kid at Christmas, times ten. And watching the video is even more electrifying now than it was at that moment, knowing what a gift Pope Benedict XVI has been to the Church over the past 7 years.

  30. I was in 11th grade, four days away from being confirmed. My English class was in the library/computer lab doing research for whatever project we were working on at the time, and my English teacher (a rabid feminist) had the TV tuned in to the news coverage of the conclave in the back room (it’s a Catholic grade/high school). When they made the announcement of who had been elected, she sarcastically said “Oh, it’s Ratzinger”. Little did I know at that time that his decisions as pope would have a big impact on my life (read: Summorum Pontificum). Ad multos annos, Holy Father!!

  31. Gretchen says:

    I was not Catholic at the time, but was following the election of the new pope. The speculations about this or that cardinal were rife. After listening to the commentary, I felt for some reason that Cardinal Ratzinger should be the new pope, but never thought he would be elected. When he was elected, I was thrilled, although I didn’t really know why. Three years later, I entered the Catholic Church at Easter Vigil. I love our Papa!

  32. AnAmericanMother says:

    I was the only Catholic in my office (still am, for that matter.) At the time, our boss was a Methodist, and my coworkers were Baptist, Jewish (Reform) and Presbyterian.
    I had had a second window open on my computer with the feed from EWTN (which was slow) after I heard the announcement on the radio of “white smoke . . . wait! it’s black smoke! False alarm!” After awhile, of course, the white smoke did really appear, and I stuck my head out the door and yelled down the hall, “We have a pope!” So everybody came in to listen, and when “Josephum . . . ” was announced, I jumped in the air and yelled, “It’s Ratzinger!” with great glee. Of course none of them had any idea what I was talking about, even after my explanation . . . .
    I had been praying (but not really believing it would happen) since he gave that absolutely splendid homily at BJPII’s funeral. (Gretchen, funny we should feel the same way.)

  33. aarmstrong says:

    I remember I was at the hospital. My brother was being born, who was named Joseph!

  34. bookworm says:

    I was working for a small daily newspaper at the time and had been away from the office on various assignments all morning. As I was on my way back to the office, about 10 minutes to noon or so (Central Time), I flipped on the car radio. It was tuned to the local news/talk station, which at that hour usually carried the Rush Limbaugh show. The program was in the middle of a commercial break, and when the break ended, Rush came back on and announced that Cardinal Ratzinger was the new pope and that he had chosen the name Benedict XVI. He announced it in a tone that made it clear that he and most of his listeners regarded this as good news!

    There was other big news in my area that day… President Bush was in Springfield, Ill. for the dedication of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (a must-see for presidential and Civil War history buffs, by the way) and was scheduled to speak at noon. This also was aired on the station I was listening to. I would presume that he was notified of the new pope’s election during this event.

  35. pinoytraddie says:

    My Family and I was about to Sleep when My Mother read from her Cellphone: “HABEMUS PAPAM!”,and we turned on the TV to EWTN, All of us Jumped up and Down till Cardinal Estevez announced that Cardinal Ratzinger is the New Pope who is Now Benedict XVI,we were a little shocked as Most of My family were expecting Cardinal Arinze to be pope,we listened to Him give his Thanksgiving Message and bowed our heads as He was blessing us. after that Mom had to Go on an Urgent Errand of sorts and I went back to sleep at 3 A.M.

    P.S I had some sympathy for Liberation Theology before,but now I am a Traddie of Sorts thanks to Him!


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  37. pm125 says:

    4/19/2005 was the most exciting day in the sequence from the funeral of Pope John Paul II when the Gospel Book blew open on his casket, when I heard Card. Ratzinger’s sermon and saw reverence, when black smoke became white, when the bells went from tolling to pealing, to when Card. Estevez smiled at announcing from the balcony, and when Pope Benedict XVI raised his hands to the people. I was on the edge of my seat.
    The EWTN and Fox channels had good views of St. Peter’s Square. (I didn’t realize that this here Fr. Zuhlsdorf was the one who managed to quiet the anchor by saying “Let’s listen.” because I used the internet for work only purposes then.) Seven years ago – I began to blunder into conversion to Catholicism officially – the creation of a clean heart for Jesus in the Eucharist. Anyway, I love the sermons and writings of Pope Benedict XVI and pray these are widely heard and followed – how he does this at 85 now has got to be divinely inspired. May God bless him.

  38. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Here’s Amy Welborn’s old blog from that month.

    I was home sick as a dog that week, but I was still happy! And I got well after the election, so that’s probably my big stint as a victim soul…. :)

  39. John Nolan says:

    Ratzinger appeared to be the front-runner, and we got the usual saw about ‘he who enters the conclave a pope, comes out a cardinal’ (not true, actually – Pacelli’s election in 1939 and Montini’s in 1963 were both widely predicted) but I thought they would go for a non-controversial Italian. I was working and caught the news on the radio. Wojtyla’s election in 1978 caught the BBC off guard; they didn’t know how to pronounce his name, and the only thing they could say about him was “indications are that he is a liberal churchman”. This time round they were far better briefed. The next morning there was a discussion programme featuring the Beeb’s favourite Catholic commentators, liberals of course, one a well-known ex-nun and wannabe priestess. I’m sorry to say I took great pleasure in their obvious discomfiture. But not that sorry.

  40. jbosco88 says:

    I was not yet Catholic, 16, and on my way home from School. I caught the news when I got in – and reading it was Ratzinger, I thought “Finally, all the liberal mess in the Church will be sorted slowly, it’s safe to convert!”

    In 2009 I did just that.

    May Benedict XVI have many more years!

  41. Alice says:

    I was in college and teaching music part time in a tiny Catholic school. I had just finished a morning of teaching and was getting ready to go back to college when I heard that there was white smoke. Since I didn’t have classes until much later, I decided to do some prep work and wait until the name was announced to leave. In 15 minutes, the news was in, but everyone was so excited that they could only say “Benedict” when I asked who the new pope was. I finally found the only non-Catholic teacher in the office and she was saying “with a name like Ratz-whatever, it’s a good he picked something easier.” And, that’s how I found out who the new Pope was. Two of the junior high girls, realizing that I was the only person who hadn’t seen pictures since I didn’t have a computer, took me into their classroom and showed me. I will remember the excitement and enthusiasm about being Catholic we all felt on that day forever.

  42. irishgirl says:

    I can never forget that day! It was my day off from my job at the local Catholic book store. I was on my way to the bank, and listening to the local classical radio station on my car radio, when the program announcer said that the white smoke was spotted and the bells were being rung. I raised one hand from the steering wheel, clenched a joyful fist, and yelled, ‘Habemus Papam! Habemus Papam!”
    When I got to the bank, i got as close as I could to the TV set it had (CNN unfortunately, not Fox), and strained to hear who it was going to be. My heart was racing with nervous excitement; and when Cardinal Medina Estevez announced the name ‘Josephum’, and then ‘Ratzinger’, I exultantly said half aloud, ‘It’s Ratzinger!’ And then I saw the graphic change on the screen to the new Pope’s name: ‘Benedict XVI’.
    Some of the people watching in the lobby turned away in disgust; they had bought the secular media’s lie about ‘The Grand Inquisitor’, and ‘God’s Rottweiler’. I didn’t care; I said to myself, ‘Well, too bad for you guys-I’m happy!’
    After I did my bank business, I went out to my car, called the then-coordinator of the Latin Mass group, and shared the good news together. Then later on in the evening, I watched the news stories on TV.
    I have a DVD of EWTN’s coverage of the conclave; I love hearing the half-muffled ‘My God!’ from either Raymond Arroyo or Father Richard John Neuhaus! Father had it right on the money!
    I am so glad that we have the right Holy Father for our time! And I hope we have him for some time more! VIVA IL PAPA BENEDETTO!

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