Monsignor Ratzinger Celebrates 90th Birthday with Pope Emeritus

Monsignor Georg Ratzinger celebrated his 90th birthday Jan. 15 with his younger brother, Benedict XVI, at the pope emeritus’ “Mater Ecclesiae” residence in the Vatican.

After celebrating a Mass of thanksgiving in the residence chapel, the two brothers settled down for a typical Bavarian breakfast, and were joined by the consecrated women who help care for Benedict XVI, according to Vatican Radio.

After a festive lunch, the former choirmaster of the “Regensburger Domspatzen” -- the Regensburg Cathedral Choir -- was treated to an evening concert in the Hall of the Assumption, part of Vatican Radio’s premises located in the Vatican Gardens.

The concert, organised by the historian and author Michael Hesemann and the singer Wolfgang Noeth, was performed by four musicians: two pianists, a violinist, and tenor – all friends or acquaintances of Msgr. Ratzinger. 

Among those present were Cardinal-designate Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and also a former bishop of Regensburg; Archbishop Georg Gänswein, private secretary to Benedict XVI; and Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi.

Those present said Benedict XVI looked “healthy and relaxed”, according to the German language Catholic site,

Msgr. Ratzinger had already spent the Christmas holidays with his brother in the “Mater Ecclesiae” retirement home. He spent a short time undergoing tests at the Gemelli hospital because he was suffering from dizzy spells, but was soon discharged.