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Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Mohammad Samra

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI heralded as ‘servant of all’ by Cardinal Cupich at Holy Name Cathedral

Cardinal Blase Cupich on Monday led a memorial Mass for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. (Youtube)

Cardinal Blase Cupich on Monday commended Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for “humbling himself and being a servant of all, even if it meant resigning as pope.”

“This profound sense of being ever-close to the Lord marked his life to the very end,” Cupich said. “I was not surprised to read that his last words reportedly in his native German language were ‘Jesus, I love you.’”

Cupich presided at a memorial Mass at Holy Name Cathedral for the late pope emeritus. Benedict, the first pontiff to resign in 600 years, died Saturday at age 95. The conservative theologian stepped down in 2013 after guiding the church’s 1.2 billion Catholics for eight years.

“I have come to learn over the years that when people think about those who dedicate their lives to scholarship, a quality often overlooked is humility,” Cupich said speaking of Benedict. “To allow your mind to be formed not by your own musings and opinions but by others as you interact and dialogue with them.”

Cupich described Benedict as “that humble scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven that we read about in the gospel.”

“For good reasons, many will remember Benedict XVI for his countless incomparable gifts and talents,” Cupich said. “He had a brilliant mind, wrote elegantly and taught in a way that inspired his students to learn.”

Cupich added that Benedict learned of love, humility and community through living with a loving family during his earlier days.

“He learned that the authentic life is lived in community, learned that we are connected to each other and that life is to be shared through sacrifice,” Cupich said.

Benedict wrote in a spiritual testament released Saturday by the Vatican: “I thank my parents, who gave me life in a difficult time and who, at the cost of great sacrifice, with their love prepared for me a magnificent home that, like clear light, illuminates all my days.”

Monday’s Mass was the first of seven memorial Masses to be held this week by auxiliary bishops at churches of the Archdiocese of Chicago:

  • Wednesday, Jan. 4, at 7 p.m. at St. Hyacinth’s Basilica, 3636 W. Wolfram St., Chicago. Mass will be in English, Spanish and Polish.
  • Thursday, Jan. 5, at 6:30 p.m. at St. Cletus Church, 600 W. 55th St., La Grange. Mass will be in English and Spanish.
  • Thursday, Jan. 5, at 7 p.m. at St. Theresa Parish, 455 N. Benton St., Palatine.
  • Thursday, Jan. 5, at 7 p.m. at St. Albert the Great Church, 8000 S. Linder Ave., Burbank. Mass will be in English, Spanish and Polish.
  • Thursday, Jan. 5, at 7 p.m. at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 5472 S. Kimbark Ave., Chicago.
  • Thursday, Jan. 5, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Church, 1747 Lake Ave., Wilmette.
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