Vatican City, Dec 17, 2016 / 12:41 pm
The Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI sent birthday greetings to Pope Francis on Saturday, Francis’ eightieth birthday.
The Holy See Press Office characterized the written message as “very affectionate” and “particularly appreciated” by the Pope.
Benedict then made a personal call to the Pope.
“In addition, Benedict XVI sent Pope Francis three small gifts that the Holy Father received as three very personal and meaningful signs for both of them,” the press office said.
Pope Francis received more than 70,000 birthday wishes from all over the world via email. Of these, the most numerous were in English, Spanish, Polish and Italian.
The press office said the Pope is going ahead with the day as normal and is living it “with great joy.”
“He was particularly happy by the presence of so many children and youth participants in his audience with the Nomadelfia Community.”
He received members of this community in audience on Saturday.