On a trip to Rome, Spanish pilot Ral Ruiz, 50, went to the intercom to pay respect to Pope Benedict XVI, speaking of his tremendous legacy to the surprise and then applause of everyone on board. Passengers are used to the pilot stepping on the intercom to provide them with flight information.
Ruiz, who was born in Madrid, said he had a “Granadian” heart since he used to reside in Otvar, Granada, but he has spent the last 15 years living in Seville with his wife and three children.
At 1992, he enrolled in the General Air Academy in San Javier, Spain’s Murcia area, where he was significantly affected by the Military Archdiocese’s priests. Before leaving for the airport, the pilot says the rosary. He said that his parents, who were “both catechists and fortunate models of Christian living,” gave him his religion.
When questioned about his selfless act by ACI Prensa, CNA’s sister news organization in Spanish, Ruiz said that for him, “those who are persecuted for their religion in many areas of the globe, where they sacrifice and offer their own life, they are brave.”
“Strong, without a shadow of a doubt, for Christ and for us.” Here, it’s simple,” the pilot remarked.
“I had to take action”
According to Ruiz, “a number of things spoken lingered with me that made me contemplate the previous day while listening to the radio in the afternoon and reading press pieces about Benedict XVI at night.”
He was due to fly the aircraft from Seville to Rome on January 5, the day of Benedict XVI’s burial.
Since I had the wonderful opportunity of being one of the pilots that transported Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain to the burial of St. John Paul II, I was also reflecting on the synchronicity of traveling to Rome for Benedict XVI’s funeral.
The pilot opined that this was a sign. I was touched to see how many people traveled to Rome to say their goodbyes, spending their funds and even taking time off from work. They were doing something, while I was doing nothing.
He felt the urge to devote something to the pope “and share it with all the people who joined us on the journey” after “soaking up” the knowledge “of such a clear pope, so plain and at the same time so straightforward, so brave that he even chose to quit out of his own conviction.”
Even if I subsequently understood that I was the only one by myself and that somehow I would “hide” in their baggage to wish Benedict XVI goodbye.
“What is most meaningful to me is that someone thanked me for listening to it; I never expected that my comments would be heard by so many people.”
The words I uttered were everyone’s, Ruiz emphasized afterwards, “I simply had the opportunity to wield the microphone.”
Set a good example while evangelizing
The pilot said that he wasn’t worried about any consequences since “if someone needs to be terrified, it must be bad, seeing so many people praying,” he continued.
“No one can be upset when you speak positively of a person as excellent and good as Benedict XVI, I don’t believe anybody was offended,” he said.
Therefore, he extended an invitation to “those who don’t believe to reflect on the presence of God, to contemplate that our civilization is regulated by the rules he gave us, and without realizing it, they also embrace and defend the Christian life, which is what we carry out.”
“Having a belief in anything provides you a benefit over not having a belief in anything. He said, “It is simpler to battle for an aim, which is your religion.
Ral stated that “we all evangelize in our job, in our regular existence” with regards to the apostolate. being excellent individuals, good workers, wonderful friends, and good parents.
“Benedict filled St. John Paul II’s gap,”
Being a member of the generation of the 1970s, Ruiz remarked of Benedict XVI, “St. John Paul II was a magnificent model for me, therefore his successor would have it more difficult, there being also less media attention.”
“On the other hand, this feature of Benedict XVI drew my attention the most. He was serious, straightforward, and upfront.
He said, “For me, Benedict XVI was the pope who accomplished the challenging job of filling and conquering the enormous hole that St. John Paul II left us.