This morning, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his 85th birthday, after a Mass in the Pauline Chapel in Horst Seehofer, Germany, becoming the oldest in operation since Pope Leo XIII, who died at age 93 in 1903.
“I stand before the last the course of my life and I do not know what awaits me. I know the light of God is that He is raised, His light is stronger than any darkness (…) and it helps me to continue safely,” said the Pope in his homily where he urged the faithful to pray for him to finish with” forces “to fulfill his” mission “entrusted.
Benedict told his close aides did not want “big events” and rather wanted “a family party.” Thus, the Holy Father had the presence of his older brother, Georg, 88, also a priest, who came expressly from Regensburg (Germany) to be with the “small family”, whose health has always been concerned.
Given the many people gathered in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican, the pope went to the window to greet the audience who sang “Happy Birthday”. Benedict XVI held on April 19, the seventh anniversary of his election as successor to the apostle Peter in the conclave in 2005 after the death of John Paul II.