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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI Resigns!

Today is Ash Wednesday, a very important date for Roman Catholics and Christians around the world. This day marks the start of the Lenten season, the sacrifice and passion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Catholics wear ash crosses on their foreheads as a symbol that God has formed man from ash and to ash, he will return when he dies.

For the Roman Catholics, this year’s Ash Wednesday is not only a day for sorrowful reflection because of Christ’s death but also because their supreme pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI has resigned from the papacy due to health reasons. This is the fourth time in the entire history of the Holy Roman Empire that a pope has resigned from his position as Bishop of Rome. The first is St. Clement I. The second is Celestine V in 1294 who has occupied the papacy for only six months. He has resigned because he has felt that he is not suitable for the position. The third is Pope Gregory XII in 1415. He has resigned at that time as a sacrificial gesture to heal the Great Western Schism reigning at that time.

A flash of lighting is seen over St.Peter's Basilica during a rainstorm at Vatican in this picture provided by Ansa on February 11, 2013. Pope Benedict stunned the Roman Catholic Church on Monday when he announced he would stand down, the first pope to do so in 700 years, saying he no longer had the mental and physical strength to carry on. REUTERS/ANSA/ Alessandro Di Meo ( VATICAN - Tags: RELIGION) ATTENTION EDITORS - NO COMMERCIAL USE. NO MAGS. NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. ITALY OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN ITALY

However, a strange coincidence has happened in Rome after the pontiff has announced his resignation. A lightning flash has struck over St Peter’s Basilica night of February 11, 2013. Those who believe in divine signs might connect the extraordinary incident with the pope’s resignation. It is indeed a strange occurrence.

Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation from papacy will be one of the biggest news events this year and perhaps even in this decade.

Image Credit: "Lightning Over St. Peter's Basilica" Images are from Yahoo News!

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