Did you know Pope Benedict XVI wrote a beautiful letter to the Christ Child at seven years of age?
Pope Benedict XVI (also known as Joseph Ratzinger) passed away on Dec. 31, 2022, at age 95. While we remember him as our beloved Pope and Saint John Paul II's close confidant, he also led a beautiful life before these monumental years.
In 1934, little Joseph Ratzinger wrote a beautiful Christmas letter to the Child Jesus at age seven.
According to the Italian website Korazym, the letter was found in 2012 during his childhood home’s restoration in Bavaria, which was transformed into a museum dedicated to the former pontiff.
Here’s a photo of the letter:
Pope Benedict XVI’s Christmas letter to Jesus reads,
“Dear Baby Jesus, soon you will come down to earth. You will bring joy to children. You’ll bring joy to me too. I would like the 'Volks-Schott,' a green chasuble for mass and a Sacred Heart of Jesus. I’ll always be good.
“Joseph Ratzinger Christmas 1934.”
Pope Benedict once said his favorite season is Advent, or the “pre-Christmas season.”
“Every year our nativity scene grew by a few figures, and it was always a special one,” he said. “The joy of fetching moss, juniper, and fir branches from the forest with my father.”
Pope Benedict's requested gifts explained
The young Ratzinger requested the Volks-Schott missal, which helped him fall in love with the liturgy. He also requested “a green chasuble,” because he played a “parish priest’s game” with his brother.
“As boys, my two brothers loved to act out the Sunday service,” Pope Benedict’s sister Maria Ratzinger said in 1991.
“We celebrated Mass and we had chasubles made by the mother’s seamstress just for us,” Pope Benedict’s brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger told Inside the Vatican. “One time, in turn, we were the minister or the altar boy.”
Lastly, Ratzinger requested the Sacred Heart of Jesus because of his family’s devotion to Him.
In 2012, Pope Benedict’s private secretary Georg Gänswein told the German news outlet Bild that “The Pope was very happy when the letter appeared and smiled at the contents."
He added that "the smell of moss" remained a part of Christmas for the Pope.