Pope emeritus Benedict XVI returned to the Vatican on Monday, June 22, following a five-day trip to Germany where he visited his 96-year-old brother, Georg, reported Vatican News.
The 93-year-old pope emeritus traveled to Germany on June 19, in a wheelchair and visibly weakened, to visit his brother Georg Ratzinger, 96. After arriving in Regensburg on Friday afternoon, the two brothers celebrated Mass together. Then Benedict XVI retired to the seminary in the afternoon and returned to his brother’s house in the evening.
The following day, after a Bavarian breakfast at the seminary, Benedict XVI again celebrated a mass with his brother, for the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and he saw Georg again in the evening.
On Saturday, June 20, Pope Emeritus visited his family home – moved by the portraits of his ancestors – and his former residence, where he lived from 1970 to 1977. He also visited the grave of his parents and his sister Maria at the cemetery in Ziegetsdorf, where he meditated.
He also paid a visit to his old home in Pentling, on the outskirts of Regensburg, where he worked as professor of Dogmatics at the city’s university before his appointment as Archbishop of Munich and Freising in 1977. The house is now the headquarters of the Benedict XVI Institute, which preserves his theological heritage.
Benedict XVI also met with the nuncio to Germany, Archbishop Nikola Eterović, who in the years of his pontificate had served as Secretary-General of the Synod of Bishops.
Pope emeritus Benedict XVI last visited Germany during an official papal visit in 2006.