Pope Francis Sends Birthday Greetings to Benedict XVI

Pontiff Makes Friendly Phone Call to Pope Emeritus

Pope Francis took a moment today at the beginning of his daily mass in the chapel of Domus Sanctae Marthae to pray for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who celebrates his 86th birthday today.

“Today is Benedict XVI’s birthday. We offer the Mass for him, so that the Lord be with him, comfort him, and give him much consolation,” Pope Francis said at the start of the Mass.

According to a communique by the Holy See Press Office, the Holy Father made a friendly phone call to the Roman Pontiff Emeritus who is currently residing at the Apostolic Palace in Castel Gandolfo.

Pope Francis also took the occasion to greet the Benedict XVI’s brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, who has been at Castel Gandolfo for several days to celebrate the occasion. The Holy Father also sent best wishes to the Pope Emeritus’ brother who will “in turn celebrate his saint’s day, St. George, this coming April 23rd, just as Pope Francis will.”

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