- Homily of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger at Funeral Mass of John Paul II (April 8, 2005)
"Follow me. " The Risen Lord says these words to Peter. They are his last words to this disciple, chosen to shepherd his flock. "Follow me" – this lapidary saying of Christ can be taken as the key to understanding the message which comes to us from the life of our late beloved Pope John Paul II. Today we bury his remains in the earth as a seed of immortality – our hearts are full of sadness, yet at the same time of joyful hope and profound gratitude.
- Address of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger at the beginning of the Thanksgiving Mass for the 25th anniversary (October 16, 2003)
Most Holy Father,
Exactly 25 years ago, at this time, the Cardinals gathered in the Sistine Chapel elected you to the office of the Successor of St Peter, and you said your "yes" to the grace and burden of that office.
Twenty-five years ago, Cardinal Pericle Felici, Pro-Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals, solemnly announced to the crowd waiting in St Peter's Square: "Habemus Papam". Twenty-five years ago, from the Loggia of the Blessings, you imparted the Urbi et Orbi Blessing for the first time and, with an unforgettable Address, instantly won the hearts of the Romans as well as of the many people across the world who were following you and listening to you. You said at that time that you came from a distant country, but we saw immediately that the faith in Jesus Christ that shone from your words and from your whole person overcomes all distances; that in the faith we have all grown close to one another. Right from the start you enabled us to experience this force of Christ that breaks down barriers and creates peace and joy.