Fr Z has helpfully translated a piece in La Stampa which gives an account of the Holy Fathers meeting with Maltese clerical abuse survivors.
Lawrence Grech said
"I saw the Pope weep from emotion and I felt myself freed of a great weight."
Read the rest here.
Anna Arco gives a detailed account of his visit in her diary. Here she describes a group of young people putting their questions and concerns to the Pope. It is really worth reading it all.
In this image on Anna Arco's blog, Terry Nelson is reminded of the Pope of Don Bosco's dream.
"On the whole surface of the sea you see an infinity of ships, all ending in a beak of sharp iron that pierces whatever it hits. Some of these ships have arms, cannons, guns; others have books and incendiary materials. All of them are thronging after a ship that is considerably bigger, trying to ram it, set fire to it, and do it every possible sort of damage. Imagine that in the middle of the sea you also see two very tall columns. On one is the statue of the Blessed Virgin Immaculate, with the inscription underneath: “Help of Christians.” On the other one, which is even bigger and taller, there is a Host of proportionately large size in relation to the column, and under it the words: “Salvation of believers.” From the base of the column hang many chains with anchors to which ships can be attached. The biggest ship is captained by the Pope, and all his efforts are bent to steer it in between those two columns. But, as I said, the other barks try in every way to block it and destroy it, some with arms, with the beaks of their prows, with fire from books and journals. But all their weapons are in vain. Every weapon and substance splinters and sinks. Now and then the cannons make a deep hole somewhere in the ship’s sides. But a breeze blowing from the two columns is enough to heal every wound and close up the holes. The ship again continues on its way. On the way the Pope falls once, then rises again, falls a second time and dies. As soon as he is dead, another immediately replaces him. He guides the ship to the two columns. Once there he attaches the ship with one anchor to the column with the consecrated Host, with another anchor to the column with the Immaculate Conception. Then total disorder breaks out over the whole surface of the sea. All the ships that so far had been battling the Pope’s ship scatter, flee, and collide with one another, some foundering and trying to sink the others. Those at a distance keep prudently back until the remains of all the demolished ships have sunk into the depths of the sea, and then they vigorously make their way to the side of the bigger ship. Having joined it, they too attach themselves to the anchors hanging from the two columns and remain there in perfect calm."
Tens of thousands of Maltese turned out to welcome His Holiness.
This short video includes footage of an enthusiastic crowd singing Happy Birthday greetings to him.
For all his exalted state, the Shepherd of the Universal Church, Peter the Rock is, nonetheless, an actual flesh and blood human being. The responsibility must be crushing at times.
And he is 83 years old.
Small wonder he gets tired.
Pope John XXIII famously said "Sometimes I just kneel down and say, Lord, it’s your Church, I am going to bed".
I hope Benedict XVI can do likewise.
I am praying for him more than ever.