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Rome Reports

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Georg Gänswein: “Benedict spent his birthday with his brother and we prepared a surprise for him”

Relaxed and with his brother is how Benedict XVI celebrated his birthday. His secretary, Georg Gänswein, explained this during the Rome Reports presentation of a documentary on the pope emeritus.

Benedict XVI's Secretary

"He's celebrating now at home with his brother, who was with us also this morning. We will go pray the rosary and then the Swiss Guard's band has prepared a small surprise, very typical from Germany. They will play two or three songs and after a short speech the celebration will continue."

As for the pope emeritus' health, he assures that he is the same as a few weeks ago when he wrote a thank you note to an Italian media outlet. In it, he admitted his physical decline.

Benedict XVI's Secretary

"His mind is very good, his physical strength has decreased a little, but he is in good spirits, he is present mentally and today he is celebrating. The important thing is that he is present. Whether he is writing something important or not, I do not know, but he himself said that we should not expect anything academic."

Those closest to him know that Benedict misses his native Bavaria and that is why every year they try to bring a small piece of his country to the smallest state in the world.