Would you have liked to have met Pope Benedict XVI and gotten to know him? Did you ever wish you could be near enough to him to hear him explain his Christian faith and vision more deeply and more clearly?
We propose to draw as near to him as possible by traveling in the very footsteps of Pope Benedict, and reading selections from his writing at each step of the way, praying where he is buried, standing where he stood in Rome and in the Vatican, and visiting southern Germany, where he was born and spent his childhood and was a seminarian and was ordained to the priesthood. So we will travel from his grave to the chapel where he was baptized and the house where he was born in 1927…
At each stop along the way, we will have special readings from his writings and speeches, and delve deeply into the mind and heart of this holy Pope, who passed away on the last day of 2022, on the evening of December 31st, and whose last words were “Signore, ti amo!” (“Lord, I love you.”)
Traveling with us will be Dr. Michael Hesemann from Germany, who was a close friend with both Pope Benedict and his brother, who was two years older than the Pope, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger.
And Dr. Robert Moynihan will also be traveling with us, and speaking about the more than 20 times that he interviewed Pope Benedict, and came to know him better than many Vatican journalists.
We will begin in Rome, by visiting Pope Benedict’s grave, in the floor of the crypt below St. Peter’s Basilica. Then we visit all of the places in Rome where he lived and worked, including a restaurant he loved, and the apartment he lived in for 20 years as a cardinal. We will then leave Rome and go from his “second home” to his “first home”: Bavaria, in southern Germany. For four full days, we will visit the places where he was born, grew up, studied, preached and worked as a bishop. We will visit his birthplace, Marktl-am-Inn, the little towns he lived in as a boy when his father, who was a policeman, was forced to move house to take new postings — Traunstein, Tittmoning, Auschau — and the places he himself visited on pilgrimages with his mother, brother and sister, especially Altoetting, a Marian sanctuary that is a place of peace and profound holiness.
We will be together for 8 full days—time enough to visit many beautiful and sacred places, to be present at the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and to have moments of quiet reflection.
Why are we setting out on this journey? Above all, to deepen our understanding and our faith. We wish to draw closer to the leader of our Church, the successor of Peter. And through this, we wish to draw closer to God.
Please come with us on this once-in-a-lifetime journey “in the footsteps of Pope Benedict.”