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My Brother, the Pope Hardcover – March 1, 2012
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Nobody knows the Holy Father better than his brother, as is evident in this heartwarming and engaging memoir. On the one hand, Monsignor Ratzinger offers an intimate portrait of the Pope's family life, granting us privileged access to the inner sanctum of Pope Benedict's childhood and youth; on the other hand, the chilling accounts of life in Germany during the rise and fall of the Nazis are nothing short of startling. Pope Benedict is not likely to write his autobiography; in its absence, this is the next best thing. --Joseph Pearce , Author, The Quest for Shakespeare
In My Brother, the Pope, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, brother of Pope Benedict XVI, gives remarkable testimony to the inestimable role of parents and family in the life of a young man called to the priesthood. The careful and rich account of the life of the family of Joseph and Maria Peitner Ratzinger, provided by their second child and eldest son Georg, permits the reader to see directly how God works through the family in calling a young man to the priesthood. The family assists him in responding to the priestly vocation and accompanies him, as both priest and son or brother, throughout a lifetime. Georg Ratzinger has, in a most special way, provided the world with a treasured means to understand more deeply God's great gift of its universal shepherd, Pope Benedict XVI, who remains always his brother. --Cardinal Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura
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Top Customer Reviews
You can almost "hear" Msgr. Georg Ratzinger as her recounts life (his and the Holy Father's!) with his brother Joseph.
It is truly a privilege to step into this story!
Early on, both boys planned to become priests. However, to the great unhappiness of the entire family, Hitler came to power in Germany. Their father had to be very careful not to say the wrong thing and thought it best to retire at that time. Both boys were drafted into the German army during World War II. With the help of Divine Providence, they both survived the war after harrowing experiences. At one point, Georg was wounded by a bullet in his arm--but fully recovered. When the boys returned home in one piece from the war, they were both confirmed in their vocations to the priesthood. It was clear to them that God had spared them for a special reason. To the great joy of their parents, the Ratzinger boys were ordained as priests on the same day. They have now celebrated their 60th anniversary of ordination.
Georg had a musical bent and eventually went on to become the conductor of the famous boys' choir in Regensburg, from 1964 to 1994. Joseph had another talent.Read more ›
When I started the book, Pope Benedict had not yet resigned. About a third of the way through, he had resigned, and by the time I finished the book, a new Pope had just been elected. It isn't that the book is long and time consuming or complicated; rather, it is fascinating and I allowed for some interruptions and the joy of coming back to the pages. It was more like not eating a box of Godiva Chocolate all at one sitting! And each time, reopening the book, there was more to hold my interest.
The factual telling of the Nazi period was chilling, and far too reminiscent of what is happening in America today. But with faith and family, the Ratzinger family emerged from the war intact. It was fascinating to read that Josef Ratzinger simply walked away from the army near the end of the war. He got home first, and then brother Georg arrived. I loved the interspersion of moments like Georg walking into the family home on his return from the war, walking to the piano, and playing the "Te Deum," (We Praise Thee, O God!) It is recounting of such moments that makes the reader feel present on the scene.
The mechanism of recounting the story is particularly effective. One senses hearing Georg's own words and then interspersed in italics into the text, are the observations and information from Michael Hesemann. The two approaches work very well together and turn out to be an excellent way to tell the story.
I found myself in much reflection as the events of resignation and Conclave were unfolding in Rome, with a much better understanding of the man, Josef Ratzinger, and why he would have chosen to step down from the highest position in the world.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A fabulous read. Makes you feel closer to Pope Benedict, and feel blessed by that even.Published 15 months ago by Lizzy
Enjoyed this book giving some of the background and childhood of Pope Benedict XVI. It makes one realize what a brilliant man he is and how blessed we have been to have him as... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Anna
The tone is gentle but profound. It gives a strong feeling of admiration for the whole family. What a breath of fresh air in a world fraught with strife.Published 22 months ago by Julie Rivera
Msgr. Ratzinger tells in his own words the life of the Ratzinger family, originally as an interview (although most of the questions have been removed, so as to avoid a choppy... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Clare
An excellent read about Pope Benedict. Shows clearly why Pope John Paul II chose him to oversee the doctrine of the Church.Published on January 26, 2014 by Anna M. Hollier
I felt it reviewed all of the Pope's life and his decision making prior to his religious life and his early life as a Priest, Bishop and a Cardinal. Read morePublished on August 20, 2013 by patty marz
Interesting and quite enjoyable reading. The Ratzingers, Georg, Joseph and their sister and parents, are an inspirational family for everyone today. Read morePublished on June 6, 2013 by ann reilly