Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his 90th birthday this week giving thanks to God for his blessings.
The former pontiff, who lives in retirement, gave his blessing during his quiet celebrations.
“My heart is full of gratitude for the 90 years that the good God has gifted me,” he said.
“There were trials and difficult moments, but He has always guided me and pulled me out, so that I could continue on my path.”
Although Benedict generally well, his personal secretary Archbishop George Gänswein said he has problems with his legs, so uses a walker to get around. He is otherwise sharp of mind and has a keen sense of humour.
The guests at Benedict’s modest beer-pretzels-and-cake party included his 93-year old brother Monsignor Georg Ratzinger.
Benedict, who comes from Bavaria, Germany, also hosted the Bavarian Prime Minister, Horst Seehofer and a Bavarian mountain defense association.
A Bavarian band provided the music.
Benedict expressed his love of God and his homeland in a farewell message to his guests, saying how grateful he is to come from a country “which has been beautiful from its creation”.
Bavaria is beautiful, he told them “because one knows God there, knows it is He who created the world, and that it is good when we build it together with Him”.
Among the gifts Benedict was given were a Paschal Candle and a wooden replica of Our Lady, the patron of Munich.
News category: World.