« British teacher lets students name teddy bear "Muhammad" | Main | Secret Documents published by Vatican City »

Happy Birthday Pope

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI turned 80 on Monday, April 16, celebrating by lunching with cardinals and http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,266311,00.html?sPage=fnc.world/europeattending a concert. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,266311,00.html?sPage=fnc.world/europe

Benedict spent his birthday morning meeting with well-wishers from his native Germany, including the governors of Bavaria and Schleswig-Holstein, and a representative of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,266311,00.html?sPage=fnc.world/europe

Benedict received some fun presents, including 80 bottles of Bavarian beer from the archdiocese of Munich, a birthday cake from Rome, and a giant stuffed teddy bear that was donated to a local children's hospital.

"The pope said explicitly that he would prefer not to accept personal gifts, but that anyone who wanted to give him a gift could make a donation that he could then use, for example for the Holy Land, or for other areas of crisis in the world or for Africa," the pontiff's secretary, Monsignor Georg Ganswein, told Vatican Radio. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,266311,00.html?sPage=fnc.world/europe

Benedict celebrated Mass on the steps of St. Peter's Basilica and noted the "not brief period of my existence" in his homily.

To celebrate the big day, the Vatican philatelic office has issued a new set of 3 stamps to mark his 80th birthday.