Deborah Donene – Vatican City
Benedict XVI is 94 years old. A birthday that is celebrated quite simply, as in recent years, in the Abbey of the Mother Church, in the Vatican, where the Honorary Pope has lived since May 2013, with the help of some Memores Domini, consecrated by the Communion and Liberation Movement, and the Private Secretary Bishop George Ganswin. He was born on April 16, 1927 in the small Bavarian town of Marktl am Inn in Germany, and was elected to Peter’s throne on April 19, 2005. The announcement of his resignation dates back to February 11, 2013. He is Honorary Pope. From the following February 28.
This would be his first birthday without his brother George, who passed away on July 1, 2020 at the age of 97. On June 18 of last year, Benedict XVI made a plane trip to Germany to say goodbye. Returning to the Vatican a few days later, he sent a touching letter that Monsignor Ganswin read at George’s funeral.
Last year, due to the epidemic, and thus in compliance with infection control regulations, he received no visits, Monsignor Ganswin told Vatican News, but many greeting phone calls or letters via mail or email. Moreover, with constant knowledge of the development of the epidemic, he participated in pain by praying for Coronavirus patients, especially those affected who died while performing their service. In 2019, at the beginning of Holy Week, Pope Francis went to the monastery to send him Easter greetings, and also, with special affection, offered him Christmas wishes.
In 2018, he had celebrated his birthday with his brother George in a calm and familiar atmosphere, and in the evening, in his honor, the orchestra of the Swiss Papal Guard performed some songs. The year before, the day after his birthday, a Bavarian party was held in front of his residence, featuring typical pastries and music performed by a company from Schutzen in their popular costumes. At the end of the meeting, before giving the blessing to all of the attendees, the Pope Honorary thanked him for returning him to his “beautiful land.”