Pope Benedict XVI celebrates 85th birthday
Pope Benedict XVI was to celebrate his 85th birthday Monday with a number of visitors, including his older brother and the premier of his native German state of Bavaria, DPA reported.
"There will be no solemn festivities in the Vatican for the Pope, but rather a family feast, like he himself has asked," Benedict's secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, said ahead of the event.
Gaenswein, in an interview with Italian magazine, Gente, said that for the pontiff Monday would be "a normal working day and he never breaks his daily routine."
That included celebrating Mass in the Pauline Chapel in his Vatican Apostolic Palace papal residence.
Benedict has spent a few intense recent weeks including a six-day visit to Mexico and Cuba and presiding over the Vatican's Holy Week Easter celebrations.
After some days of rest at his summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, in the hills south of Rome, Benedict returned to the city on Sunday to greet his brother, the 88-year-old Father Georg Ratzinger, who arrived from Regensburg, Germany.
Benedict who took that name following his election on April 19, 2005, was born as Joseph Ratzinger on April 16, 1927 in the town of Marktl am Inn, Bavaria.