Pope emeritus Benedict XVI celebrated his 89th birthday on Saturday, and received special greetings from Pope Francis.
“I would like to remind you that today is the 89th birthday of Pope Benedict XVI. Pray for him,” Pope Francis said aboard the papal plane April 16.
Francis traveled to meet refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos the same day. He also issued a message wishing his birthday greetings
“The Holy Father Francis, along with all those who accompany him in his visit to Lesbos--his entourage and journalists--send emeritus Pope Benedict XVI the most affectionate and cordial greetings on the occasion of his 89th birthday, asking the Lord to continue to bless his precious service of closeness and prayer for the whole Church.”
Benedict attended a concert with his older brother, 92-year-old Monsignor Georg Ratzinger.
The Philharmonic Orchestra of Franciacorta, conducted by Edmondo Mose Savio, peformed three of the six string quartets that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had dedicated to his friend Franz Joseph Haydn. Mozart is a favorite composer of Benedict XVI.
The concert was held in Assumption Hall of Palazzina Leo XII, the Vatican Foundation Joseph Ratzinger reports.
Benedict XVI resigned from the papacy in February 2013.