Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pope Benedict celebrating his birthday...

Vatican City, Apr 16, 2009 / 10:55 am (CNA).- Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Aloysius Ratzinger, is celebrating his 82nd birthday today at the papal retreat in Castel Gandalfo.

Having completed the exhausting schedule of Holy Week activities, the Holy Father is quietly celebrating his birthday at the apostolic palace.

Yesterday at the weekly General Audience, well wishers sang “Happy Birthday” to the Pope in English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Croatian and Italian. Pope Benedict will also soon be celebrating the anniversary of his election to the papacy, which falls on April 19.

Commenting on the Pope's birthday, Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi said on Wednesday that he hopes that the Holy Father "may long continue to carry out his ministry, ... helping the men and women of today to find God."

Fr. Lombardi added that the “focus of his concern is to bring mankind to God and God to mankind, through a great personal love for Christ.”

This often means adopting a “critical attitude” towards the numerous negative aspects of today's culture and mentality, but, the press director noted, “in the final analysis the principle message [the Church] wishes to communicate is a message of love, a message for the good of mankind and of the human person; that is, their reconciliation with God and with all the other men and women who live on this earth." (Continued here)

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