RADIO VATICANA REPORT:
Pope Benedict XVI
celebrated his 7th anniversary as Pope this year. Before becoming Archbishop of
Munich, the then Father Joseph Ratzinger was a Professor of theology at several
university faculties in Germany. His papacy has been marked by his sublime
theological observations in his speeches and homilies. What surprises many
people is that he can also articulate profound ideas on a level young children
can understand. This was demonstrated in his first year as Pope, when he
answered questions in St. Peter’s Square from children about to receive their
first Holy Communion.
“I was intrigued at the thought of the scholar
speaking to young children,” said artist Ann Engelhart. “When I heard he would
be speaking to these children in Rome, I thought I would love to hear what he
has to say to them. It was a very important conversation directed to children,
but on their level.”
She soon contacted writer Amy Welborn to speak about
collaborating on a book about the encounter.
“It was a beautiful event.
I wanted to be able to make it available to children and families in a format
that would be usable for them,” Engelhart told Vatican Radio.
The book is
called Friendship With Jesus: Pope Benedict XVI Speaks to Children on
their First Holy Communion. It is a picture book which combines the
words of the Pope with wonderful watercolour paintings by Engelhart.
was a very important conversation directed to children, but on their level. As
always, Pope Benedict doesn’t really talk down to children, he speaks to them.”