.- The Vatican issued a reminder this morning that Pope Benedict XVI will mark the occasion of his 80th birthday with a Mass of Thanksgiving in St. Peter’s Basilica. The celebration falls on the same day the Church celebrates the second Sunday of Easter, known as “Divine Mercy Sunday.”
The Mass, which will begin at 10 am (local time), will be concelebrated by the Cardinals, archbishops and bishops who head the various Dicasteries of the Roman Curia as well as the Auxiliary Bishops of Rome and several members of the Roman presbyterate.
“The Church both in Rome in the other parts of the world is invited to join the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, to raise to God our Father a deep prayer of thanks for his 80th birthday and the second anniversary of his appointment,” the Vatican Press release reads.
The Holy Father’s birthday actually falls on Monday the 16th, just three days before the anniversary of his Pontificate. Coinciding with his birthday, the Vatican will also release the first book written by Joseph Ratzinger since he's been Pope. “Jesus of Nazareth,” will initially be released in Italian, German, and Polish.