Buon Onomastico… Happy Name Day… Holy Father Benedict XVI and also another titan of the Church. BONUS: a short excursion of the imagination.

Today, the Feast of St. Joseph, is the baptismal name day of Joseph Ratzinger, who chose as his regnal name, Benedict.

Here is a tweet from a canceled titan of the Church. It is an honor to live at the same time as the great Card. Zen. It is also Card. Zen’s name day! Joseph Zen Ze-kiun!

Wouldn’t it be something if in the next conclave, which some say might not be too far off, the electors decided that someone unable to vote was elected?  Card. Zen. Imagine.  Could Zen, even at his age, do for China what Wojtyla did for the Soviet bloc?

Or…. speaking of elderly candidates how about…  remember these?


… the votes are counted and the results ring in the Sistine Chapel.  Stunned, awe-filled silence prevails.

There is a moment of bustling consultation at the main table of the officers of the conclave.  Several of the Cardinals and personnel slip out the door to the Gospel side of the main altar.

Time passes.  As the Cardinal Electors wait, some being to stir, to gather in small groups, and move about and the sound of voices slowly rises in the great painted barn.

There is a sudden tapping on the microphone to get their attention and everyone returns to his place.  The main door of the chapel opens.  A momentary swirl of porpora sacra and paonazza.  

A small figure dressed in white in a wheel chair is escorted into the nave surrounded by officials of the conclave.  As if from the sacral sense in the very marrow of the men whose burden it is to bear the color of martyrs, one by one they remove their birettas and bow to the man in the chair.

In the chair.

In the absence of the Dean of the College, who had been unable to enter the conclave due to age, the Vice Dean approaches the diminutive focus of their collective minds and hearts.

Vice Dean: “Acceptáste electiónem de te canónice factam de Summum Pontificem?” (Do you accept your canonical election as Supreme Pontiff?)

B16: Non accepto.  (No.)

Vice Dean: “Quo nómine vis … eehh… non acceptas? Ma.. come… cosa…?” (By what name do you wish … uh… you don’t? But… how… what…?)

B16: Acceptare nuper non possumus quod iam hic abhinc decima septima annos acceptavimus. Apud vos declaramus Nos iam Vicarium Christi esse. Ministerium actuosum Episcopi Sedis Romanae renuntiavimus sed non Christi munus Vicarii. Munus retinuimus illud et retinemus retinebimusque usque ad ultimum cordis saltum Nostrae. Acceptare idcirco hanc electionem modo a vobis factam in Summum Pontificem Nobis non licet. Iamdudum Sumus Pontifex, Christi iam Vicarius.

[Gasps.  All eyes turn back to the man in white.]

Aliquod autem mutare desideramus.

Eminentissime ac Reverendissime Domine Decane! Interoga Nos iterum, quo nomine volemus vocari.

Vice Dean: S…S… Sanctissime P.. Pater… quo nomine vis vocari… nunc?

B16: Vocabor nomine … Petri Romani.

PR (continuing): Priusquam Nos nuper aperte praebebimus, opportet nos multa et difficiliora prodigia Vobis adaperire. Solea mea extenta, facitote vero adorationem, non modo inurbano et saeculari sed ut Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalibus et omnium Clericis gradum decet. Tempus fugit. Incipitote et, adoratione expleta, una cum vobis magnam in renovationem incipiamus.

PR to the Vice Dean [quietly]: Verta, care frater, mea verba latina in linguam italicam. Iste Iesuita non capit quidquam. Et inveni, sodes, aurantii gusti Fantam. Areo.)

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. redneckpride4ever says:

    Happy birthday to the man whose pontificate, during my lifetime, is my favorite.

    I’d have to study hard to even attempt a favorite Pope of all time, but during my 43 years Benedict was my favorite.

  2. Pedantic Classicist says:

    Happy St. Joseph’s day! Hope you all get some zeppoles and sfingi if you can.

    Thanks for the hypothetical, Father: one I’ve here and there pictured a version of myself. “Iste Iesuita non capit quidquam.” Savage!

  3. redneckpride4ever says:

    I meant happy name day. Duh!

  4. SperaInDeo says:

    Thank you for the excursion to the imagination, Father.
    I truly got a good laugh out of it. It’s wild, but stranger things have happened!

  5. Chrisc says:

    That would be a turn of events worthy of a tall glass of orange Fanta!

    Btw FrZ, any thoughts on Benedict’s role in the consecration next week?

  6. Fr. Reader says:

    What a story…

Comments are closed.