Vatican City, Apr 26, 2005 / 22:00 pm
Some 15,000 people were present this morning in St. Peter’s Square as Pope Benedict XVI gave the first General Audience of his new pontificate and explained some of the weight behind his use of the name ‘Benedict’.
At the outset of the audience, the Holy Father spoke of the "awe and gratitude to God” he is feeling as he begins his ministry as 265th Bishop of Rome.
He told the gathered throngs that God “surprised me more than anyone in calling me to succeed the Apostle Peter,” and noted the “interior trepidation before the greatness of the task and the responsibilities which have been entrusted to me.”
“However,” he said, “I draw serenity and joy from the certainty of God's help, that of His most Holy Mother the Virgin Mary, and of the patron saints. I also feel supported by the spiritual closeness of all the people of God whom, as I repeated last Sunday, I continue to ask to accompany me with persistent prayer."