Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A New Priest in 1951 - Part I

We have recently - Deo gratias! - seen a fair number of beautiful photographs of Solemn Masses in the extraordinary form on the NLM. Some time ago I found a series of pictures from a solemn Mass of 1951, which while not perhaps as spectacular aesthetically and of no very good quality, I am sure many of you will find interesting nevertheless. The most salient reason for this is the person of the Subdeacon of this Missa Sollemnis:

In case you did not immediately recognize him, here is a portrait from about the same time:

Now, I am sure many if not most of you have already seen a photograph taken that day, viz. this one:

Looks familiar? These three new priests, who all come from the same city of Traunstein, were all ordained, together with about 40 other deacons, on the same day by the Archbishop of Munich and Freising, His Eminence Michael Cardinal von Faulhaber (already 82 at the time), in St. Mary's Concathedral in Freising, on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul in 1951. They are, of course, no other but Fr Joseph Ratzinger, his brother Fr Georg Ratzinger, and their friend Fr Rupert Berger. Here are two pictures of the ordination Mass:

Now back to the first picture of subdeacon Fr Joseph Ratzinger. This was the First Mass (in German called "Primiz", from Latin "primitiæ", i.e. "first offering"; the new priest offering it is the "Primiziant") of their friend, Fr Rupert Berger. It was held on Sunday, 1 July 1951, Feast of the Precious Blood, in the city parish church of St. Oswald's, and the deacon was Fr Georg Ratzinger. I will leave you with a picture of the celebrant and the ministri at the sedilia; more pictures and a description from the local newspaper of the time in the next post.

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