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A recently unearthed letter from the seven-year-old Joseph Ratzinger to ‘Baby Jesus’ reveals the future pope’s desire to be a priest and his devotion to the Sacred Heart:
Dear Baby Jesus,
Quickly come down to earth. You will bring joy to children. Also bring me joy. I would like a Volks-Schott, green clothing for Mass and a heart of Jesus. I will always be good.
Greetings from Joseph Ratzinger
CNA offers a brief explanation for some of the young Ratzinger’s Christmas requests:
The first thing the Pope wanted was a Schott, one of the first prayer books with the missal in German and a parallel text in Latin. At the time there were two editions in the country, one for adults and one for children.
But little Joseph also asked for “green clothing for Mass.”
The Pope and his brothers used to play the “game of the priest,” and their mother, a seamstress, would help them by making clothes similar to those worn by priests, according to an “Inside the Vatican” interview his brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, gave a few years ago.
He also asked for a heart of Jesus, referring to an image of the Sacred Heart, which his family was very devoted to.
The letter, found during the renovation of a house that Pope Benedict occupied when he was a professor in Regensburg, was published on Dec. 18. The message was discovered in the estate of his sister Mary, who kept the letter after the Pope’s house was converted into a small museum dedicated to him.
“The Pope was very glad to find the letter and its contents made him smile,” said the pope’s secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein.