February 28th, 2013! The day on which the Supreme Roman Pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI would complete His responsibility as the Successor of Peter. It was a day of intense prayer and solemn thanksgiving! All the inmates of Fatima Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Kodambakkam, Chennai, – the Children, the Members of the Teaching and Non Teaching Staff, the Workers and all the sisters of the Community along with Rev. Mother Provincial, Rev. Sr. Magnificat,- gathered together as one Family of believers at 8.30 a.m. The huge flex board of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI with his arms wide open in a gesture of embracing all the young people gathered around him was displayed prominently on the stage. The messages of the Pope: “My dear young people build a world of peace and justice” and “Look to the future with confidence”, seemed to be going straight into the heart of the young, getting their prompt response in the words: “We love you Pope Benedict XVI” and “We are with you”.
The significance of the event was once again explained to the gathering as a special moment of paying tribute to the great Pontiff who stole the hearts of the young with his indomitable trust in them. The papal flag was carried in procession to the stage accompanied by light bearers and the entire assembly stood in rapt attention. The Leaders with lighted candles in their hands and all present with their right hands extended took an oath, pledging fidelity to the Roman Pontiff that we will be faithful to his teachings and exhortations especially to his invitation to be builders of peace and prove his trust in the young.
This was followed by a meaningful prayer service during which the many services of Pope Benedict XVI to the Church and to humanity in general were highlighted, asking God to bless him with good health and long life to continue to serve the Church and the World. His many challenges to the young were reflected upon as children carried objects such as Light, Heart, Thorns, Incense and Holy Bible to be placed at his feet.
Rev. Mother Provincial, Sr. Magnificat with her inspiring words kindled the hearts of all those gathered especially the young, to be faithful to the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI – the great Emissary of Christ and during this year of Faith to rediscover and intensify friendship with Christ and from there to draw joy and enthusiasm to transform cultures and societies from deep within.
The entire day was spent with groups of children, staff and sisters before the Blessed Sacrament in thanksgiving for the marvelous gift of God to the Church and to the world in the person of the Holy Father Pope Benedict the XVI and in prayer that God may bless him with good health and long life.
The single echo that filled the atmosphere all through the day was “GOD BLESS OUR POPE, THE GREAT THE GOOD! LONG LIVE BENEDICT XVI”.