Photo: AP

People from all over the world, and all walks of life, are offering condolences and reflections on the life of Pope Benedict XVI, truly one of the great figures in the history of the Catholic Church.

The chaplain of the Walk for Life West Coast, Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ, studied under Pope Benedict, (then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) for many years, and his Ignatius Press did more than any other institution to share the brilliance and holiness of Pope Benedict with the English-speaking world.

Many news organizations have sought commentary from Fr. Fessio on Pope Benedict’s life. Father told Aleteia:

“I don’t believe being pope is a proof of sanctity, nor is it sufficient grounds for canonization. But being Joseph Ratzinger is,” said Jesuit Fr. Joseph Fessio, founder and editor of Ignatius Press, whose doctorate was directed by Professor Joseph Ratzinger at the University of Regensburg. “I don’t know anyone who has worked closely with him who does not recognize his holiness and his brilliance. In addition to hoping for santo subito, I look forward to his being declared a Doctor of the Church.”

Detroit Catholic also asked Fr. Fessio for his thoughts:

Photo: Ignatius Press

“He will be not only a saint but a doctor of the church someday,” Father Fessio predicted….

He had the tremendous ability to understand what others were saying and writing,” Father Fessio added. “He could be critical, but he was fair, and then he would present what he thought was a more accurate view of things.

“He really had a serene and humble insight. He was such a great person and had a great mind.”

“He was a great listener and conversationalist, always with a warm sense of humor. He has done all things well. He was a wonderful orator and speaker, preacher, writer and thinker.”

Let’s give our merciful God thanks for raising up a shepherd like Pope Benedict XVI. May perpetual light shine upon him!