VATICAN CITY — The Vatican has yet to reveal what retired Pope Benedict has planned for his 87th birthday today.
It will definitely be low key and most probably include a friendly phone call from Pope Francis, who is always picking up the phone on people’s birthdays.
While Pope Benedict usually liked to keep celebrations simple, the people around him liked to splurge, especially when he visited Washington, D.C., in 2008.
April 16 was his first full day in the United States, and the White House presented him with a gorgeous four-tier lemon cake after opera star Kathleen Battle belted out the “Happy Birthday” song.
Things got really raucous when a group of Bavarians came to the apostolic palace on April 16, 2012. A small band treated the pope to ”oomppah” music and kids did the skirt-swirling, shoe-stomping, thigh-slapping “Schuhplattler” dance.
Dressed in traditional costume, the children presented the pope with white flowers and a maypole covered with colorful ribbons and recited a German birthday poem.
Remember, you can send greetings and well-wishes to:
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Mater Ecclesiae monastery
00120 Vatican City State