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Pope Benedict XVI turns 85, becomes oldest pope in 100 years

April 16, 2012

On Monday, April 16, Pope Benedict celebrated his 85th birthday at Vatican with friends and family. The Daily Star reports he first gave mass in the Pauline Chapel in Vatican City with the help of his older brother, Bishop Georg Ratzinger. The brothers were joined by other church officials and even a band from the pope's native Bavaria.

The Associated Press states Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Italian president Giorgio Napolitano were also on hand to wish the religious leader a happy birthday. Pope Benedict XVI was given a personalized gift - a collection of essays written by famous Germans about the pope and his papacy.

Thursday this week marks the seventh anniversary of the Pope's election to his current position as leader of the Catholics, and later this month is the 24th anniversary of the start of his career as a bishop.

Those who want to find out more about the pope's birthday celebrations can make calls to Germany with international phone cards and ask their friends for the latest updates.

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