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The Pope with cats in Nativity scene

By Teresa Benedetta
By the Associazione dei Santi Pietro e Paolo at the Vatican's Cortile di San Damaso

Pope Benedict XVI is a well-known cat lover. For the year of faith, the sodality decided to have a Nativity scene dedicated to Benedict XVI. It shows important moments in the life of Joseph Ratzinger - starting with the house where he was born in Marktl, on the right, and on the left, the Cathedral of Freising, where he was ordained a priest.

In the center, a grand staircase - representing man's ascent towards God - leads to the Nativity scene itself, which is located inside a cave on the slopes of the Bavarian Alps which rise in the background. On the right, one sees the Gothic spires of the Cathedral of St. Peter in Regensburg, to symbolize his academic years, having been a professor there from 1969 to 1977 when Paul VI named him Archbishop of Munich and Freising. In front of the Freising Cathedral, Benedict XVI himself, as a small figurine, made in Naples, accompanied by two cats. {There are also cats found elsewhere in the tableau.)



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