Archbishop Georg Gänswein is expected to leave hospital Thursday. 

Sources close to the personal secretary of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI told CNA Deutsch, CNA's German language news partner, that he was "better and improving steadily."

Gänswein, 64, thanked those who had prayed for his recovery, saying: "May God reward you for your prayerful support." 

The prefect of the papal household was hospitalized with kidney pain Sept. 11. CNA Deutsch reported that he would leave hospital in Rome Sept. 17 and return to the Vatican.

Gänswein was born in Riedern am Wald, Germany, in 1956. In 1995, 11 years after his ordination, he left Germany for the Roman Curia, serving first at the Congregation for Divine Worship and later at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In 2003, he became personal secretary to the future Pope Benedict XVI.

He was appointed prefect of the pontifical household in 2012, continuing in the role after the resignation of Benedict XVI and the election of Pope Francis a year later.

Earlier this year, he released a book, "How the Catholic Church Can Restore Our Culture," collecting his interviews, homilies, and essays. It was published in English April 15 by EWTN Publishing. 

"The Gospel does not change according to the times, it is revealed by Christ if we seek to proclaim and live according to Him 'in season and out of season,' in the words of St. Paul," Ganswein said in an interview with ACI Stampa, CNA's Italian-language news partner.