WELCOME TO Val's Alentejo -I write about my region of Alentejo. My art ,painting, my cottages, Family life, my animals -Travels And my love for Roses- and rural country life.

Thursday, 28 February 2013


News of Pope Benedict XV1 and his Abdication after 8 years,   Is all over the world news at the moment .  
The Holy Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.
This morning he said his good bye's to the Cardinal's and yesterday to his followers.  I thought he looked tired and old.  His Abdication , came as a shock to many of us.  I believe the first time a pontiff, has abdicated in over 600 years.

                 Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger was the 265th pope.  He was born April 16th 1927 in Marktl am Inn-( Bavaria).  A university professor of theology before he was ordained , a very highly educated man. With a love and dedication to the holy catholic church.

I always thought him a very pragmatic quiet man and true to in his faith and beliefs  as the head of the church.
  I wish him well along with the millions of catholics around the world in his retirement .. We now wait for a New Pontiff . - We now wait for the white smoke to  emitt from the vatican enclave of cardinals. Many good christian men within the enclave ..Maybe a younger Pope this time..  Benedict asked for a shorter period for the enclave to decide on his next successor.
                                 I was in awe at the sight of St. Peter's , when I went to Rome.
I have family that live in Tuscany.. and my niece was married and living in Rome for many years. I stayed with her in her beautiful home in Fregene. a suberb of Rome.. on the sea.
A most amazing city.  I am sure that many of you have visited.    Its charm, its History, its people , call you back again.
          St. Peter's Basilica - Late renaissance .. designed pricipally by Donato Bramante - Michelangelo, Carlo Moderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini.       It remains one of the largest churches in the world, and possibly the most visited.

                                  The Creation of Adam-  Sistene  Chapel - by Michelagelo.. Evokes many thoughts on the subject of Adam and Eve..

               The Swiss guards have served as bodyguards since the late 15th century. Not only as household guards for the Vatican City.. Also as regular Swiss mercenary regiments .. in various armies - France, Spain and Naples up to the 19th Century.  We mainly know them as the Swiss Guards of the Holy See.
The chosen men have to be swiss and catholic.. also with higher education, before they can apply for the post.. they are changed every 6 years.
My son in Law .. has a very good school friend, who is serving at the Vatican  Swiss Guard at the moment.
                                  Strong Intelligent men. Not just statue's !!!

'Mater Ecclasiae ' within the vatican grounds, where the pope will eventually live and retire .

The end of another papal  era.

For the moment Pope Benedict will be living at 'Castelo Gandolfo' long been the summer retreat for more than 4 centuries for the Popes.  A view of the exquisite gardens at Castelo Gandolfo.
Wishing you all a blessed day.  


  1. I am not a catholic, but it appears to be the most sensible course of action for him to have taken, particularly having decided that he is no long up to doing the job of leading the catholic church properly. The previous pope, John Paul ll, was unable to fulfil his role as he would have wished for last two years of his life due to Parkinsons, and this pope has been aware of those difficulties.
    Rome is a wonderful destination, a city I love, and I could happily return any time.

    1. A very sensible move. The catholic church at the moment is under much scrutiny!
      not wanting to talk church politics.. but it needs a radical change.
      Not only is the pope the Head of the church.. but he CEO of a city and a bank .. immune from all.!
      It really need a young vibrant man.. but we will see what the curia decide.
      I too would love to return to Rome..
      I have to admit.. in these past years, I have become 'a lapsed catholic' dissapointed with a lot of its ideals.
      Thank you Rosemary... nice to read your comments.

  2. Beautiful post, Val. I truly admire his difficult choice to step down. And, so now, the world waits for the news of a new pope.

    1. I too admire him.. a very difficult , but wise move.
      We will see what the next pope brings.
      thanks Meggie..

  3. It's a time of change and challenge in the church. I pray that the right choice will be made!

    1. Totally agree Ponside.. we need a radical change.. I am praying that we get a young on the ball pope.. so much change is needed.
      Thank you for your comments.

  4. i was raised catholic, but i never liked how some would practically deify a pope. he is a man, like any other. a devout man, hopefully, but still a man. benedict was strong enough to abdicate and prove that. i respect him for it.

    1. I am a 'lapsed catholic'.. I dont go to church as often as I should.. I find comfort in my own prayers. I do however feel that as a head of a church..he should be respected.
      He retired at the right time, with lots of controversy going on now in the church...not just the catholic church either.!
      Thank you Tex

  5. Discrete beautiful post. I'm not catholic, but I do admire the pope to have made this decision, though it's so seldom taken. (as I admire our queen, who did the same) Hope for a younger pope, to make radical changes. And Rome, I want to go there again. It has been so long ago. Groetjes, Gerda

  6. Thank you Gerda,
    A very wise discision. I think also that the changes in the church are happening too fast for him.. now at 85.. he will have a nice retirement.
    I too love Rome.

  7. I'm italian and I thank God for our Pope.

  8. Thank you for leaving your comment Isabella.
    We will soon know who Our new Pope will be.

  9. Ah that was lovely Val I really enjoyed reading this. I'm not a Catholic although my French grandmother was. Like you I keep my prayers to myself. I do respect the Pope's wishes and hope that the next one maybe a little younger. I never understand why they always seem to go for someone getting on in years. But hey that's tradition I suppose. Have a good weekend.
    Patricia x

    1. Thank you Patricia,
      The pope has a very responsible job. As most leaders of churches do.
      We need some radical changes made within the church .. I hope that the next pope will be younger.
      I myself, never understood why they always chose a very old man..
      I suppose they wanted to get as close to st. Peter as they could.!

  10. I am glad that the Pope has retired
    as he certainly looked very tired and not in the best of health lately.

    He made a very brave decision and I applaud him
    I hope that he lives out the rest of his life in peace.

    I wish him well.

    Thanks for mentioning this Val as it is nice to pay him our respects, he has had a difficult job with so much trouble hitting the church.

    1. So nice to read your comments about my post Fiona.
      I too think he was ready to retire and a brave thing that was to do.
      I too wish him well.
      We need a lot of change in the church.
      I am very lapsed and dont go as often as I used too-
      nice to see you..

  11. Thank you for a beautiful post Val; your photos and comments are very well expressed. Watching the pope on TV this morning, I see how old and tired he looks, and I think he made a very wise and courageous decision to retire. Like other commenters, I hope for a much younger pope, one who might lead the church into a better future for the next 25 years or so. Perhaps Benedict's legacy, after a short papacy in his old age, will be to inspire others to know when it is time to hand over the reins.
    I'll join the other disclosers - I am a practising Catholic :)
    Bless you, Val xxxx

  12. Dear Patricia,
    So heart warming to read your comments.
    I think we all feel the same.
    I wish him well.
    we do need an uplift in the church.
    I have lapsed going to mass. but I thank Our Lady and Our Lord for every new day and all my blessings.
    god bless and have a wonderful day.
    val xx

  13. Oh Val,
    I wonder who our next Pope will be? So special of you to learn about what's going on in Rome. When Jess visited Rome a couple years ago, she went to the Vatican. It was a wonderful experience for her, and she brought me back some rosary beads, which I will treasure forever. I believe she saw St. Peter's Basilica too. I love all the paintings in the old churches, they are so beautiful. That is so special that you have been to Rome. Let's pray for a blessed Pope, Val.
    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley


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