Looking back to his birth in his memoir, published before his election as pope, he wrote: “The fact that the birthday was the last day of Holy Week and the eve of Easter was always noted in the family history, because it was connected with the fact that I was baptized right on the morning of my birthday with the water that had just been consecrated in the ‘Easter Vigil’ celebrated at that time in the morning. To be the first baptized with the new water was considered a significant providential event.”
He continued: “The fact that my life was thus immersed in the Paschal Mystery from the beginning in this way has always filled me with gratitude, for this could only be a sign of blessing.”
“Admittedly — it had not been Easter Sunday, but only Holy Saturday. But the longer I think about it, the more it seems to me to be in keeping with the essence of our human life, which is still waiting for Easter, not yet in full light, but nevertheless confidently moving toward it.”
On the website of the Tagespost Foundation, originally launched by Benedict XVI, Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, wrote a congratulatory message.
“I thank God for giving us Joseph Ratzinger on Holy Saturday 1927 as a fine man, profoundly devout Christian, outstanding theologian, and kind bishop and pope. And I thank Pope emeritus Benedict XVI for his lifelong witness to the love of God and for his compelling life’s work in theology,” he said.
“For his birthday, which the honoree will again celebrate on a Holy Saturday, I wish that it be for him a day of joy and appreciation, that he — despite all the hostility from the outside, which unfortunately occurs again and again — can look back gratefully on his life and on his episcopal and theological work, and that on his last earthly pilgrimage he can walk with confidence toward the final encounter with Jesus Christ, whose face he sought throughout his life and brought close to us.”