On Tuesday morning, 16 April, Pope Francis telephoned Benedict XVI to wish him a happy 86 th birthday. Just before the telephone call, he had prayed for the Pope emeritus during morning mass in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae. “Today,” he said at the start of the liturgy, “is Benedict XVI's birthday. Let us offer this mass for him, that the Lord be with him, comfort him and give him great consolation”. The conversation between Pope and Pope emeritus was very warm and conducted in a spirit of brotherhood that echoed the atmosphere of their meeting on 23 March in Castel Gandolfo. After telling him of the mass offered for him, Pope Francis asked his predecessor to convey his greetings and his best wishes to his brother as well, Mons. Georg Ratzinger, who for the past several days has been staying in Castel Gandolfo to celebrate the anniversary of his brother's birth.
St. Peter’s Square
Oct. 20, 2019
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