Monday, March 11, 2013


We have concluded our tenth and last General Congregation for the Cardinals, and we now await our move to Casa Santa Martha on Tuesday morning.

At 10:00 AM we will concelebrate a special Mass for the Election of the Pope in St. Peter's Basilica.

May I commend to your daily prayer the Mass Prayer which we will all pray on Tuesday morning:

O God, eternal shepherd,
who govern your flock with unfailing care,
grant in your boundless fatherly love
a Pastor and Successor to Peter for your Church
who will please you by his holiness
and to us show watchful care.
Through Christ our Lord.
On Tuesday evening the Cardinal Electors will enter in solemn Procession the Sistine Chapel, chanting as we go the Litany of the Saints.  There will be a spiritual reflection offered, and we will proceed to the necessary oaths.  On Tuesday evening we will have our first secret ballot vote for the next Pope.

It is interesting to note that since 1059 the College of Cardinals remains the sole body of Electors for the Pope--that's 954 continuous years.

The Election of the Pope by the College of Cardinals occurred in many locations around Italy, Spain and France, but since 1846, all Papal Elections have been held in the Sistine Chapel--this Election will be the twelfth continuous.  However, there were other times prior to 1846 when the Cardinals used the Sistine Chapel.

No other organization in human history has had the continuous and uninterrupted history of the Catholic Church.  The reason is simple:  the Church is the living presence of Jesus Christ among his people down through time, and no human leader can interrupt that presence.

Pray for us!