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Benedict given copy of Seewald’s new biography of him as birthday present

POPE Benedict XVI

DANIEL KARMANN | dpa Picture-Alliance | AFP

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 04/16/20

The first portion of the biography is expected in English in November.

While Benedict XVI has not been able to have visitors for his 93rd birthday this April 16, his secretary and prefect of the Papal Household, Monsignor Georg Gänswein, says that he has received numerous phone calls and a lot of mail, including a call from his brother Georg.

Monsignor Gänswein told Vatican Media that the pope emeritus has been staying informed about the evolution of the pandemic, praying daily for the sick and those suffering because of the virus. “He has been particularly touched by the many priests, doctors and nurses who have died, especially in northern Italy, in the course of their service to the Coronavirus patients.”

Benedict XVI participates in this suffering and follows it with concern, but “he does not allow it to take away his hope,” the monsignor added.

The priest said that the pope emeritus celebrated Mass with extra solemnity today, and that after the normal times of prayer and reading, they enjoyed typical songs from the homeland of Benedict XVI, Bavaria in Germany.

Monsignor Gänswein spoke of one gift in particular: a copy of the extensive biography by the German journalist Peter Seewald, to be published May 4 in German.

“Initially, Seewald had the intention of presenting it personally to the Pope Emeritus in these days. Unfortunately, the pandemic made this impossible.”

Seewald’s 1,200-page biography — Benedict XVI: A Life — will be published by Droemer Knaur.

Seewald has published various interview-books with the pope emeritus, including Last Testament and Salt of the Earth.

The first portion of the biography is expected in English in November.

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Pope Benedict XVI
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