Pope emeritus Benedict XVI turns 93 today Thursday, April 16.
Usually, Benedict XVI recalls his Bavarian roots when he celebrates his birthday – even drinking beer and eating bretzels a few years ago.
In the past, his brother, Georg Ratzinger, 96, had also come to visit him on his birthday. This year, though, his special day will be spent inside the Vatican at his residence, the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery.
There he will celebrate with those closest to him, including his private secretary, Georg Ganswein.
Because of the lockdown, it’s uncertain if Pope Francis will be able to make a visit, as he has in the past.
The pope emeritus also has another anniversary on Sunday, April 19. He celebrates 15 years since being named pope.
His papacy lasted eight years. He visited more than 20 countries and published three encyclicals and three books during that time.
In his seven years as pope emeritus, he has become more frail with age. He remains in his residence, but still greets the new cardinals after each consistory. The most recent one was in October 2019, when 13 new cardinals went to greet him at his residence.