Skip to comments.A message from above? Lightning strikes Vatican after Pope Benedict resigns
Posted on 02/11/2013 4:00:57 PM PST by Alex Murphy
Pope Benedict XVI's resignation came like a bolt from the blue overnight.
And the weather around the Vatican was eerily appropriate, with lightning striking St Peter's Basilica, one of the holiest Catholic sites, on the same day that Pope Benedict announced he would be stepping down.
Global news agency Agence France-Presse published an image of lightning striking the basilica's dome, which it said was taken "on the day the Pope" announced his resignation.
AFP said the striking image was captured by photographer Filippo Monteforte, who works for Italian national news and photo agency ANSA.
Monteforte's website shows that he has photographed the Pope extensively for for more than a decade. He is also listed as a AFP photographer, with a portfolio of his work on the news agency's website.
The image was doing the rounds on social media overnight, with some people questioning its authenticity.
Fairfax Media photographer Nick Moir said the image looked genuine.
"It's probably not that rare for St Peter's to get hit," he said.
"The bolt is hitting a lightning rod to the side of the cross, it seems."
Although Moir said there was no way to verify when the photograph was taken.
Pope Benedict's resignation is the first by a pontiff for almost 600 years, and his decision stunned the Roman Catholic church.
In an address read out in Latin letter to his Catholic brethren,the 85-year-old said his advanced age and the pace of change in the modern world had left him unable to adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to me.
He will step down as head of the Catholic church on February 28.
The Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, said he had made up his mind nearly a year ago after trips to Mexico and Cuba tired him out.
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His 89-year-old brother, Georg Ratzinger, said: "Age is weighing on him. My brother would like more rest at this age."
Once he stands down, Benedict will be taken to Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer retreat near Rome, and will subsequently live in a cloistered monastery.
Previous Popes have stayed in the role until their death, despite physical and mental decay, in the belief that their prayer and suffering as they approach the end are a part of their role.
The last pope to resign was Pope Gregory XII in 1415, to help resolve a dispute between the three people who claimed to be the Pope.
“Zot!!! you could of had a V8!!!”
My prayers belong to Pope Benedict XVI.
God Bless and Keep him.
I’ve been so sad all day.
Frivolous lawsuits to blame, no doubt.
Picture him with his feet up, glass of wine in hand relaxing.
Frankly I don’t know why more don’t retire.
I pray his health will sustain him to continue to write. Praise God, we have all of his books. He’s such a humble and good man. He was my pick for Pope. A wonderful photo of him from the Vatican is on the wall right next to my computer and I’ll never take it down.
I hear a Missouri Synod Lutheran is in the lead for the job.
I’m praying! At least he named some conservative Cardinals, just like Pope John Paul II did. We will pray and pray and pray.
My thought is, that is EXACTLY why he is “getting out”. So he can have a behind the scenes role on who is going to be the next Pope.
He can watch all of the power plays going on behind the scenes and each group of Cardinals are trying to gather their allegiances.
I put it in God’s hands.
I take it as a good sign. I hope and pray the Cardinals can find a pope half as good as Pope Benedict.
I remember a few years back the famous children’s book about his love for cats and one special cat named Chico. Now that he is stepping down, he can spend more time with the cats. God Bless Pope B16!
As wonderful as those books, writing them must have taken it toll on him. Very in-depth.
He’s not permitted a vote or to be in the conclave, but I concur with your point and there’s plenty of time between now and February 28 to let him make known his choice(s) if any, although I suspect he has at least two choices in mind.
Pope John Paul II wanted Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to be his successor, even though our Pope Benedict XVI wanted to retire even back then.
Like you, I also put it in God’s hands, knowing that Pope Benedict XVI is placing his trust in God too and in the Holy Spirit.
God bless and keep him and God bless and keep you, too.
Yes, he is likely our most brilliant and thoughtful Pope. I think he’s a genius, and he can write so that his writing is understood by lay people like me.
That isn’t funny.
Like... right as certain thoughts going on in whomever it was' head (or multiple persons at once considering their own possible glory, and/or how to best scheme to obtain it). BOOM. With God, knowing all, sending a reminder,"hey! knock that off. don't even ~think~ about it, bub!"
When he became Pope there where mutterings that he would be the last Pope on earth.
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