During a festive meeting with missionary children at the Vatican on Saturday, Pope Benedict XVI said that he never thought about becoming the Pope, and that even today he still has a hard time getting used to the fact.
“My name is Letizia and I would like to ask you a question.” a little girl said to the Pope.
“Dear Pope Benedict XVI, what did the motto ‘the children help the children’ mean to you when you were a boy?
Did you ever think of becoming the Pope?” another Italian girl asked the Holy Father.
“To tell you the truth,” Pope Benedict responded, “I never thought of becoming the Pope, because as I have already explained, I used to be a fairly naïve young boy in a small country town very far away from [urban] centers in a forgotten province.”
“We were happy to be in this province and we did not think about other things,” he added.
“Obviously, we knew, venerated and loved the Pope, at that time Pius XI, but for us he was at an unreachable height, almost another world. He was our father, nevertheless, a reality that was way above all of us,” the Pope also said.
“And I must say that even today I have difficulty understanding how the Lord could think of me and choose me for this ministry. But, I received it from His hands, even if it is something so surprising that I believe is beyond my strength. But the Lord helps me,” he said.