Ahead of 85th Birthday, Benedict Asks Strength

Pontiff will also mark 7th anniversary as pope
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2012 8:11 AM CDT
Pope Benedict XVI reads his message during the Regina Coeli prayer from his studio's window overlooking St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Sunday, April 15, 2012.    (Gregorio Borgia)
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(Newser) – Staring down both his 85th birthday and the seventh anniversary of his papacy, Pope Benedict today asked the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square for both prayers and strength, reports the AP. "Next Thursday, on the occasion of the seventh anniversary of my election to the See of Peter, I ask for your prayers, so that the Lord gives me the strength to fulfill the mission he entrusted to me." Benedict's birthday is tomorrow; the pontiff will celebrate with older brother Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, who has flown in from Germany.

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