On the occasion of Benedict XVI’s 86th birthday, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, began the celebration of Mass in the chapel of the Domus Santa Maria by inviting all present to pray for the pope emeritus. “Today is the birthday of Benedict XVI. Let us offer Mass for him, that the Lord might be with him, comfort him, and give him much consolation.”

Later in the morning, Pope Francis called Benedict to offer him “best wishes” on his birthday. The Holy Father also greeted Benedict’s brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, who has been staying at Castel Gandolfo to celebrate the occasion, and who, like Pope Francis [Jorge Maria Bergoglio] will celebrate his onomastico, or Name Day, on April 23 – the feast of Saint George.