Gertrud Gänswein, the 78 year old mother of Pope Benedict's personal secretary, Msgr. Georg Gänswein died on Wednesday at her home in Freiburg, Germany, the Vatican announced today.
The Vatican did not explain the causes of Mrs. Gänswein's death, but L’Osservatore Romano lamented the "unexpected" passing.
In August, Mrs. Gänswein joyfully participated in celebrating the 25th anniversary of her son's priestly ordination, and was received in an audience by Pope Benedict XVI.
Today L'Osservatore Romano published condolences from several Vatican dicasteries, including the Press Office, the Swiss Guard and the community of Vatican workers.