Back in 1920, a 43 year old German policeman was getting concerned that he had not met the right woman to marry. In desperation, he placed the following advertisement in the newspapers.Source
"Middle-ranking civil servant, single, Catholic, 43, immaculate past, from the country, is looking for a good Catholic, pure girl who can cook well, tackle all household chores, with a talent for sewing and homemaking, with a view to marriage as soon as possible. Fortune desirable, but not a precondition."
A woman named Maria Peintner answered the ad. She was 36 years old, a trained cook, and had been born "out of wedlock". While carrying her, her mother, whom it is suggested was also born "out of wedlock", spent some time in a home for pregnant girls. The mother later married a baker with whom she had five more daughters.
Maria did not have a fortune, but she herself was a treasure, and they married four months later. In spite of their somewhat advanced years, they had three children: two boys and a girl. The youngest child received the same name as his father: Joseph Ratzinger, better known today as Pope Benedict XVI.
After his election, someone dug up the "wife-wanted" advertisement and showed it to the Pope, who, of course, smiled. They were the best of parents to their children.
The important thing is that he knew his parents really loved each other, and the children, very much. Pope Benedict often speaks about that love. In fact, his first encyclical is entitled, "God is Love," and it describes marriage as the preeminent figure of God's love for us.
Thus, know that, even being illegitimate, every child is a gift.
from Curate's Diary, 3/10 by Fr. T. Doyle
Thanks to Sue Cifelli