Benedict XVI on Tuesday concelebrated Mass with a priest who is marking the 70th anniversary of his ordination.
The priest, Father Gioele Schiavella, was formerly the pastor at the papal parish of St. Anne, which is located within Vatican City.
Father Schiavella, known for his short and profound sermons, will be 93 in September. For his anniversary, he was invited to concelebrate Mass with Benedict XVI on Tuesday in the chapel of the Mater Ecclesia convent, where the Pope Emeritus leads his life of retirement and prayer inside the Vatican.
Together with them were the other priests who work in the parish of St. Anne: the present Italian Augustinian parish priest, Bruno Silvestrini, Filipino Stefano Canuto, and Latin American Jafet Ramon Ortega.
At the end of the Mass, the Pope Emeritus gave each one of them a Rosary, and to Father Schiavella his book, “Heralds of the Word and Servants of Joy,” as well as a basket of fruit for the Community.
The parish has a long history and is close to one of the entrance gates of Vatican City, which enables the public to enter it without having to pass through the security gates of the Swiss Guards or the Vatican Gendarmerie
St. Anne’s is the parish Pope Francis visited just after his election, disconcerting his bodyguards as he greeted the faithful.