July 11, 2011
FR. RAYMOND DE SOUZA
The feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, June 29, is kept with suitable solemnity in Rome, with the pope offering Mass at St. Peter's on the patronal feast of his diocese.
Ten years ago, in 2001, Blessed John Paul asked Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to celebrate the Mass in his stead. It was the 50th anniversary of Ratzinger's priestly ordination, June 29, 1951, and the honour of offering the patronal Mass in the pope's presence was thought both a tribute to Ratzinger's long service, and, perhaps, a prelude to a farewell earnestly sought by Ratzinger himself.