The Fides news agency reported this week that Chinese Catholics have reserved a ticket for Benedict XVI to attend the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 as a gift for his 80th birthday.
“Holy Father we will book you a ticket for the 2008 Olympic Games so we can prepare to welcome you among us,” a group of Chinese Catholics told the Pope.
According to Fides, various parishes in Beijing and other parts of the country are offering special prayers for the Pope, and many of those interviewed expressed their desire to see him some day. “We are looking forward to the Letter he is writing to us and we also hope to welcome him to China. This is our prayer. We know it will not be easy but we are hoping and praying for this,” said one parishioner.
A priest from Beijing took the opportunity as well to convey his best wishes to the Holy Father. “We said a special Rosary for the intentions of the Holy Father. We wish him good health that he may continue to lead us to the truths of the Faith. We hope our prayers will lessen his fatigue. I found his homily about his eighty years of life deeply moving. He almost seemed to excuse himself for being so old but this makes him all the more important for us. His experience opens a path built with strong personal faith. This is what we urgently need and this is what we have received in these two years of pontificate.”