Benedict celebrates birthday at home

Comment on this story


IOL pic feb25 pope benedict

Reuters

Pope Benedict XVI has celebrated his 86th birthday near Rome. File photo: Reuters

Castel Gandolfo, Italy -

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on Tuesday celebrates his 86th birthday as the first former pope in over 700 years at his temporary home of Castel Gandolfo - the papal summer residence near Rome.

Benedict will be joined by his older brother Georg, who is 88 and nearly blind, as well as the four Italian laywomen from a religious movement who have worked for him as housekeepers for years.

Benedict in February became the first pontiff to resign in more than 700 years in a move that stunned the world. A conclave of cardinals in March elected Pope Francis as his successor.

He has lived as a recluse in Castel Gandolfo about 25km south of Rome since February 28, never leaving the palace.

Benedict's secretary Georg Gaenswein, who is also head of the pontifical household for Pope Francis, is also expected to be present at the birthday, which will be an entirely private event.

The pope spends his days praying, doing academic research and playing the piano in the palace on a hillside above Lake Albano, the Vatican said.

The Vatican last week denied that he had a serious illness, following rumours in the Spanish press.

In the most recent images of the former pope, he was seen walking slowly with the help of a cane.

The Vatican has said Benedict will eventually move to a former convent on a picturesque hilltop inside the Vatican walls to live out his days. - Sapa-AFP


sign up
 
 

Comment Guidelines



  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

     

Join us on

IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks

Business Directory