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I think it was by God's Grace that I turned the tele on at 12:45am (which incidentally was already set to CNA) to find live footages from St. Peter's Square with flashing headlines mentioning white smoke seen emerging; announcing the arrival of a new Pope. Then I heard the voice of Fr. Eugene Vaz on air through a phone conversation and I ran out telling my family of the news. It was a great moment of anticipation till Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger stepped onto St. Peter's Basilica balcony waving to a crowd of thousands and millions more watching through the media. He took the name Benedict XVI and became our 265th pope at the age of 78.

It was a face of compassion, yet firm. A face similar to JPII with lots of charisma and a great smile.

"Dear brothers and sisters,
After our great Pope, John Paul II, the Cardinals have elected me, a simple, humble worker in God's vineyard.

I am consoled by the fact that the Lord knows how to work and how to act, even with insufficient tools, and I especially trust in your prayers.

In the joy of the resurrected Lord, trustful of his permanent help, we go ahead, sure that God will help. And Mary, his most beloved Mother, stands on our side. Thank you." - Pope Benedict XVI

The moment I realised he's descend as a German, I was strangely pleased. Especially these years since I've grown to learn more about the holocaust during WWII and the Vatican's silence. JPII had paved the ground for this continued reconciliation between Christians and Jews. Germany should be delighted since World Youth Day will also be held in Cologne later in August. If I don't make it there, June; send my love to our new Papa.

At his age where many would be happy for a quiet and peaceful retirement, we've all been blessed with a New Pope of the World. For this trying period he will hold true to our values till we're ready to accept new changes.

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