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Pope Benedict XVI Celebrates 89th Birthday Tomorrow

Though Pope Francis Will Be Making Pastoral Visit, He Has Always Expressed His Heartfelt Birthday Wishes to His Predecessor

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While Pope Francis makes a pastoral visit to the Greek island of Lesbos to meet with refugees tomorrow, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will celebrate his 89th birthday.
Last year, Francis offered his morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta for his predecessor.
“I would like to remind that today is Pope Benedict XVI’s birthday,” he had said in his homily, reported Vatican Radio.
“I have offered the Mass for him and I also invite you to pray for him, so that the Lord may sustain him and give him much joy and happiness,” the Holy Father said this morning.”
Last year, the Pope Emeritus quietly celebrated his birthday at Mater Ecclesiae monastery at the Vatican, where he lives a life of prayer and reflection following his resignation from the papacy.
Pope Francis has expressed his love and admiration for his predecessor in various interviews, repeatedly likening him to a “wise grandfather.”
During the press conference on his return flight from Brazil in 2013, Pope Francis said,“It’s like having your grandfather in the house, a wise grandfather. Pope Benedict is a man of great prudence.  He doesn’t interfere!  I have often told him so: ‘Holiness, receive guests, lead your own life, come along with us.”

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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