Jul 9, 2012 / 12:28 pm
Pope Benedict XVI has been reliving the happy days he spent in the Italian countryside with Bishop Fulton Sheen and others in 1965 as they prepared the Second Vatican Council's decree on the missionary activity of the Church.
"I am truly grateful for this opportunity to see this house in Nemi once again, after 47 years. I have fond memories of it, perhaps the most memorable of the whole Council," he said to the General Chapter of the Missionaries of the Divine Word who gathered July 9 in the Ad Gentes Center overlooking Lake Nemi.
Speaking without notes, the Pope recalled how he received a "very great gift" when he was invited to join the preparatory group March 29 and April 3, 1965, despite being "a very young theologian of no great importance."
At the time Pope Benedict was 37 years old. As a young priest and academic, he was attending the Second Vatican Council as the chief theological advisor or "peritus" for Cardinal Joseph Frings of Cologne.