Pope Emeritus marks 88th birthday | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Pope Emeritus marks 88th birthday

Posted: Apr 16, 2015 at 5:56 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

The retired Pope Benedict XVI celebrated on Thursday, April l6, 20l5, celebrated his 88th birthday with a party at his old summer residence.

The Vatican newspaper on Thursday released photos showing the German Pope toasting a group of Bavarians in the gardens of the papal residence at Castel Gandolfo, accompanied by his elder brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, and his longtime private secretary.

On Thursday morning, Pope Francis celebrated Mass in Benedict’s honour praying that God “supports him and gives him much joy and happiness.”

The photos were said to be the first proof that Benedict has used the summer residence since he spent several months there following his February 2013 resignation. He subsequently moved into a converted monastery in the Vatican gardens.

Francis has declined to use the estate, located in the hills south of Rome, preferring to stay in the Vatican hotel even during the hot summer months.

In recent interviews on the eve of the birthday, Benedict’s secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, said the retired pope feels his age and thinks about his own mortality.

“The emeritus pope thinks about death and is preparing for his death,” Gaenswein said in an interview with Mediaset television this week. “It’s a Christian art, because preparing for one’s death means preparing to meet God.”