Pope emeritus Benedict XVI celebrates 91st birthday

Pope emeritus Benedict XVI has celebrated his 91st birthday.

Joined by his 94-year-old brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, Benedict began the day by celebrating a Latin Mass.

“Then he had breakfast and immediately after sang a beautiful song, which is always important for him,” Archbishop Georg Ganswein said.

Pope Francis offered his early morning Mass for Benedict and sent his best wishes to him.

Ganswein said after Benedict had eaten lunch the Memores Domini sisters made him, Benedict went for a short walk and, in the afternoon, he prayed the Rosary.

“His mind is fine but his physical strength is somewhat diminished,” Ganswein said.

The Vatican press office said in the evening the Swiss Guard band would be visiting Benedict and performing for him.

Benedict was pope from 2005 to 2013.

He shocked the world when he announced his resignation in February 2013, citing advanced age and declining strength.

He stepped down from the papacy a fortnight later.

A conclave was called to name his successor, and on March 13, 2013, Pope Francis was elected.

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News category: World.

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