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Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  185 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Rich in humor and culture, as well as passion and love for the cause of God and of man, Milestones is the early autobiography of Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger. It tells the fascinating and inspiring story of his early family life, the years under Nazi oppression in Germany, and his part in World War II--including how as a teenager he was forced to join the Hitler You ...more
Paperback, 300 pages
Published November 1st 1998 by Ignatius Press (first published 1977)
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Jan 08, 2010 booklady rated it it was amazing
Recommended to booklady by: my dear friend, Lucy
Excellent! A surprising book. As always with the Holy Father, he gives more than what I expect (way more!) and writes about topics I never thought to find under a book with that title. In this case, as it was a memoir, it's well to remember that 'memoirs are structured differently from formal autobiographies which tend to encompass the writer's entire life span, focusing on the development of his/her personality. The chronological scope of memoir is determined by the work's context and is theref ...more
Jan 21, 2016 §-- rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
A brilliant mind of both breadth (capacity) and insight, and an exceptional writer. A very short book of autobiographical "sketches," it is regrettable that we cannot have more detail both on the 50 years covered, and perhaps even more so that the next 40 years of his life remain in darkness, unknown to us. The greatest books are those whose greatest flaw is brevity, and this is one. While the theological debates of the 20th Century are likely not of interest to the general reader, it is as thou ...more
May 11, 2016 Courtney rated it really liked it
A very helpful book for understanding Pope Benedict XVI in his context. Though it was written eight years prior to his inauguration as pope, it serves as a good introduction both to the man and to the theological positions he emphasized during his papacy. And it also is a small window into the behind-the-scenes discussions that occurred during the Second Vatican Council, and the glimpse it affords helps to show why those debates are still contentious five decades later.

Pope Benedict does get the
Sep 01, 2015 Suzanne rated it liked it
Pope Benedict calls it a "biographical sketch" which is exactly what it is. It's an easy read of 150 pages. You can finish it in one sitting, although I did it in two.

Pope Benedict chronicles his life from the time he was born until he was created a bishop of Munster in 1977.

You'd think a Pope who had lived in Germany in World War II and had been forcibly drafted into the German Army would have some interesting stories to tell. Alas, he doesn't have a lot of good long yarns. He chronicles withou
Aug 29, 2013 Rodrigo rated it really liked it
It is hard no to be compelled by Cardinal Ratzinger's (and now pope Benedict XVI) memories. Here is a man that was born in a small german village from a modest family and who was, since the beginning very moved by his spirituality. This was not an easy task, to preserve one's moral and spiritual integrity in nazi Germany. But Ratzinger went through it and turned out to be a priest, dedicating the best os his intelectual gifts to God. His theologic achievements are quite remarkable, especially hi ...more
Jan 26, 2014 Rebecca rated it liked it
Still looking for an in-depth bio of Pope Benedict. This one offered a few insights but mostly felt like an extended curriculum vitae. Joseph Ratzinger was quite the intellectual. Very impressive career. This book was over my head in philosophy and theology. Still interesting, though. Makes me want to try to tackle that bio of Bonhoeffer again.
Andrew Votipka
Jan 12, 2016 Andrew Votipka rated it it was amazing
Great little autobiography from my favorite Pope.
A compelling autobiography, written in 1977, by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, about his life from 1927 through 1977. A must read for anyone who wants to know the truth about Ratzinger's induction into the Nazi Army or about his intellectual development and his beliefs. Rather than relying on the inaccurate descriptions by the media, or on the false interpretations by his critics, read Ratzinger's own words. You won't be disappointed.
Aug 16, 2008 Maureen rated it it was ok
Interesting: what it was like to be entering seminary as the Nazis rose to power. Not interesting: how nice and helpful the people you've met have been. Ratio of interesting:not ~1:6. Maybe the author's relative emphases on personal hardship vs. gratitude to others have something to do with his being the Pope.
May 24, 2011 Sylvia rated it really liked it
This book impressed on me the scholarliness of our bishop of Rome; I especially enjoyed learning about the works that influenced him most, and also hearing his thoughts on the theological climate of Vatican II. There are some gems in these memoirs.
Pater Edmund
Aug 14, 2013 Pater Edmund rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this once before many years ago. How much more I see in it now! I was particularly struck by the bits about the nature of revelation this time. And about the switch from existentialism to Marxism at Tübingen.
Kevin de Ataíde
Aug 03, 2011 Kevin de Ataíde rated it really liked it
Delightful autobiography of the illustrious cardinal, shaper of Vatican II and now Bishop of Rome.
Oct 17, 2010 Noel added it
So, I'm fascinated by the smelly old pope. Get over it already!
Michael Kramer
Mar 07, 2011 Michael Kramer rated it really liked it
Very interesting autobiography.
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Pope Benedict XVI (Latin: Benedictus PP. XVI; Italian: Benedetto XVI; German: Benedikt XVI.; born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger on 16 April 1927) was the 265th Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the head of the Roman Catholic Church. He was elected on 19 April 2005 in a papal conclave, celebrated his Papal Inauguration Mass on 24 April 2005, an ...more
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“To be sure, it was not Easter Sunday but Holy Saturday, but, the more I reflect on it, the more this seems to be fitting for the nature of our human life: we are still awaiting Easter; we are not yet standing in the full light but walking toward it full of trust.” 22 likes
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