ST. LOUIS – People around the world remembered the life of Pope Benedict on Thursday, which included the thousands of college students who are in St. Louis for the Catholic conference this week.
“A lot of Pope Benedict quotes have come out this week cause his teaching was just so fundamental and so beautiful,” said Brian Miller, director of evangelization and discipleship for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. “It really inspired a whole generation of Catholics to fall deeper in love with the Lord.”
Just hours after thousands of people attended the funeral service and mass at St. Peter’s Square honoring Pope Benedict, people in St. Louis remembered the impact he had on them.
“What I remember is being 19 and being able to meet Pope Benedict in a big group of kids at World Youth Day,” said Fr. Brian Fallon with the Archdiocese of St. Louis. “Recognizing the pope was this big guy, but all of the sudden he was there shaking our hands and got to shake his hand as a little kid. Just realized like, wow, he is the holy father, but he wants to be our father too.”
Many stories of Pope Benedict were shared, along with prayers and reflections on his impact on the younger generation.
“What our hope is that they’ll be able to see Pope Benedict in a greater context,” Fallon said. “He wasn’t just someone that served from 05 to 13. He’s someone that’s a reflection of the greater church all the way back to the sea of Peter.”
Miller said Pope Benedict is remembered for his work in theology as well.
“Pope Benedict has kind of been ever present this week at the conference as the priests, the bishops,” Miller said. “A lot of the speakers have such fond memories of his time leading the church even before he was pope, but then definitely the years he was pope as well.”