In 2010, to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Pope Benedict's election and to support the Holy Father during the media attacks that year on the Catholic Church over the clerical sexual-abuse scandal, the Knights of Columbus asked their fellow Catholics to join them in a novena for the Pope. The Knights composed their own Prayer for Pope Benedict XVI to use during the novena.
As we celebrate the Holy Father's 85th birthday (April 16) and the seventh anniversary of his election (April 19), I have chosen the Knight's prayer as our novena of the week. It is just as suitable today as it was two years ago. Indeed, on rereading it, I was struck by this line:
By governing with fidelity those entrusted to his care, may he, as successor to the Apostle Peter and Vicar of Christ, build your Church into a sacrament of unity, love and peace for all the world.
It's hard to think of a better summary of the main mission of Pope Benedict's pontificate. May God grant Pope Benedict XVI many happy and healthy years, as he faithfully preaches the Word of His Truth!
(Pope Benedict XVI bows down his head during a private prayer service before a meeting with 350 U.S. bishops at the crypt church of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception April 16, 2008, in Washington, D.C. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)