Pope Benedict is 87 years old today. While his birthday this year does fall in Holy Week, in 1927 -- the year of his birth -- April 16th was actually Holy Saturday itself. As he writes in his autobiography, Milestones:
The fact that my day of birth was the last day of Holy Week and the eve of Easter has always been noted in our family history. This was connected with the fact that I was baptized immediately on the morning of the day I was born with the water that had just been blessed. (At that time the solemn Easter Vigil was celebrated on the morning of Holy Saturday.) To be the first person baptized with the new water was seen as a significant act of Providence. I have always been filled with thanksgiving for having had my life immersed in this way in the Easter mystery, since this could only be a sign of blessing. To be sure, it was not Easter Sunday but Holy Saturday, but, the more I reflect on it, the more this seems to be fitting for the nature of our human life: we are still awaiting Easter; we are not yet standing in the full light but walking toward it full of trust.
A beautiful thought for this week of weeks -- and our heartiest prayers go out to this wonderful man. Ad multos annos!