Send an e-birthday card to Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict will be 84 years old this Saturday, 16 April. An electronic birthday card  has been made by the Home Mission Desk of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

Birthday greetings and prayers can also be posted on the Facebook page. The e-card is part of an initiative called ‘Some Definite Purpose’ which aims to encourage people to contribute to the legacy of His Holiness’s visit.

Pope Benedict was born Joseph Alois Ratzinger in Marktl am Inn, Diocese of Passau in Germany on 16 April 1927 (Holy Saturday) and was baptised the same day. His father, a policeman, came from a family of farmers from Lower Bavaria. His mother, Maria, was the daughter of artisans from Rimsting on the shore of Lake Chiem. He spent his childhood in Traunstein, a small village near the Austrian border, thirty kilometres from Salzburg. On Tuesday 19 April 2005, the College of Cardinals elected Cardinal Ratzinger as successor to Pope John Paul II - the 265th Bishop of Rome and Successor of St Peter. Pope Benedict XVI is only the second non-Italian pope since 1522 - the other being his much-loved predecessor Pope John Paul II.

A Bishops’ Conference spokesperson said: "Just over six months ago the UK welcomed  His Holiness to these lands and sending a birthday card is a small way in which we can express our thanks for his coming and wish him a very happy and blessed day."

The electronic birthday card is being made available from, which can be emailed to the Holy Father at:

To find out more about the legacy of the Papal Visit see:

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