Pope Benedict XVI enjoys a pint of beer as he celebrates 88th birthday

Pope Benedict (Rtd) spends his time reading and keeping up with his correspondences, receiving guests and occasionally playing the piano.

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Pope Francis celebrated Mass in Benedict's honor, saying he hopes "God supports him and gives him much joy and happiness."

In an interview released to Associated Press (AP) on the eve of the retired pontiff’s birthday, his secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, said "The emeritus pope thinks about death and is preparing for his death."

Gaenswein also said in an interview with Mediaset television this week. "It's a Christian art, because preparing for one's death means preparing to meet God."

Ratzinger became the first pope in 600 years to step down, saying he didn't have the strength of body or spirit to carry on. Pope Benedict (Rtd) spends his time reading and keeping up with his correspondences, receiving guests and occasionally playing the piano.

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