The day of Joseph Ratzinger’s birth has been seen by some as a sign of Divine Providence. It was certainly a sign of things to come. The future Pope Benedict XVI was born on Holy Saturday, April 16th 1927. His birthplace is Marktl-an-Inn, a tiny village less than an hour’s walk away from Altoetting, the most important Marian Shrine in Bavaria.
1927 was the year Charles Lindbergh completed the first ever solo flight across the Atlantic. The Pope in Rome was Pius XI – the successor to Pope Benedict XV.
As Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger celebrated his 85th birthday, his last as Pope, with a Mass in the Pauline Chapel in the Vatican. It was April 16th 2012. Reflecting on his long and eventful life, he claimed he was "facing the final stretch" of his life's journey. "I do not know what awaits me”, he said. “But I do know that the light of God is there, that He is risen, that His light is stronger than all darkness; that the goodness of God is stronger than every evil in this world. And this helps me to proceed with confidence. This helps us to move forward".