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Benedict XVI celebrates Mass with his ill brother on feast of the Sacred Heart

Pope emeritus Benedict XVI will celebrate Mass with his ailing brother on the feast of the Sacred Heart during his first full day in Germany Friday.

A June 19 statement from the Diocese of Regensburg said that after Benedict XVI arrived from Rome at noon on Thursday he immediately visited his 96-year-old brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger.

The brothers celebrated Mass together at the house in Regensburg and the pope emeritus then traveled to the diocesan seminary in the afternoon to rest. In the evening, he returned to see his brother.

The diocese said: “For the first morning in his old homeland, an authentic Bavarian breakfast awaited the pope emeritus in the seminary. There were pretzels, which Archbishop Georg Gänswein, who accompanied him, was also pleased about.”

“In the course of the morning the two brothers will celebrate together a high mass for today’s feast of the Sacred Heart.” 

The diocese added that “afterwards there will be apple strudel,” a popular pastry in Bavaria and Austria.

News of Benedict XVI’s visit broke on the morning of June 18. It is believed to be his first trip outside Italy since he stood down as pope in 2013. 

In a statement Thursday, Regensburg diocese said: “Pope emeritus Benedict XVI flew this morning from Rome to Bavaria to be at the side of his seriously ill 96-year-old brother. It is perhaps the last time that the two brothers, Georg and Joseph Ratzinger, will see each other in this world.”

Read more at Catholic News Agency

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