Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Pope Benedict quietly celebrates 85th birthday

Catholic World News - April 16, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his 85th birthday quietly on April 16, with a Mass of thanksgiving and a reception for bishops and pilgrims from his native Bavaria.

"I am facing the final leg of my life's path and I don't know what's ahead," the Pontiff said during his homily. Before the Mass, which was concelebrated by many of the prelates at the Vatican, Cardinal Angelo Sodano had congratulated the Pope. Speaking on behalf of the College of Cardinals, of which he is the dean, Cardinal Sodano said: “Holy "Holy Father, may the Lord continue to remain at your side.” Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, the Pope’s older brother, was visiting during the weekend and joined in the birthday festivities. During the day the Pope met with a group from Bavaria, who entertained him with singing and dancing.

The landmark birthday, along with the fact that Pope Benedict is now among the oldest men to serve as Roman Pontiff in recorded history, has sparked a new round of speculative stories about the possibility that he might resign. But although his age often shows--in frequent fatigue and in an increasingly stiff gait, which requires him to use a cane occasionally--Pope Benedict has given no indication that he is having difficulty carrying out his duties, or that he is considering retirement. In fact, at a public audience on the day before his birthday he asked the faithful to "pray for me, that the Lord may give me the strength to carry out the mission with which He has entrusted me.”

The Pope’s birthday was observed as a holiday at the Vatican. Later this week, on April 19, the Vatican will celebrate another special holiday: the 7th anniversary of the Pope’s election.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our April expenses ($20,025 to go):
$35,000.00 $14,975.48
57% 43%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Pro Deo et Hibernia - Apr. 16, 2012 12:59 PM ET USA

    Ad multos annos! Vivat papam!

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17
The Holy Spirit and Evangelization: A Primer April 16
Journey to the Sun: A Strange Biography of Junípero Serra April 16
Russia's demographic recovery + US demographic decline = danger April 16
James Carroll strikes (at the Church) again April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days