Journalist Peter Seewald, who is considered Benedict XVI's biographer, recently visited the pope emeritus at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, to present him with his biography. According to the writer, the pope emeritus' health has been deteriorating in the last weeks due to a case of zoster herpes, an infection that has been attacking the skin on his face as well as causing a fever and hives. According to Seewald, Benedict XVI, at 93 years old, is “extremely fragile” and “can barely speak.” However, he reports that during the encounter, he seemed to be in good spirits and even said that, if he recovers his strength, he'll “take up the pen again.”
Peter Seewald also gave details not related to the pope emeritus' health. According to the journalist, Benedict XVI has already written his final will and has chosen where his remains should be buried: the ancient tomb of St. John Paul II in the crypt of St. Peter's basilica. According to the German paper, it's a choice motivated by the closeness he always felt to his predecessor.
The death of his brother, Georg, last July 1, was a heavy blow for Joseph Ratzinger. Despite his 93 years of age and his failing strength, Benedict XVI didn't hesitate to travel to Germany on June 18, to the deathbed of the person who, for him, was more than a brother.