Thursday, February 28, 2013

A memorable sign off

     We are all aware of well known personalities that have offered distinguishing sign off's like Walter Cronkite "And that's the way it is ..." or Carol Burnett and her little pull on the ear or Jimmy Durante (remember him?) and his signature walk off with the words "Good night, Mrs. Calabash, where ever you are". [not sure of the spelling - the memory is slipping].

View of the Lake from the Papal Palace

     Today we saw the quiet, dignified and simple farewell of the successor of Peter, Benedict XVI, as he said farewell to his collaborators, the Cardinals, good bye as pope to the staff and Vatican City as he rose in the helicopter and circled Saint Peter's to the ringing of the bells, the exuberant welcome to the summer residence of the popes at Castel Gandolfo, and then his brief address to those gathered there and those watching and listening.  His final public words as pope, following his blessing, were "Thank you and good night.  Thank you all."  Then he retired - into the house, into the evening quiet, and into the quiet of prayer and reflection.

Entrance to the Summer Residence from the town square

     Well done, good and faithful servant.  Enter into the peace of the Lord's love for you, and take with you our love and respect.

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