Georg Ratzinger, the older brother of Joseph Ratzinger, Benedict XVI, died in Bavaria (Germany) at the age of 96, after being visited in his sickbed more than two weeks ago by the pope emeritus, sources said Wednesday. from The Vatican.
Benedict XVI, 93, visited his very ill brother on June 18 in a four-day farewell, his first trip abroad since his resignation as pope in 2013.
The Brothers Were Very Close
The two brothers, ordained priests the same day in June 1951, were very close. Georg Ratzinger often went to visit his famous brother at the Vatican.
In Bavaria, the pope emeritus also went to the cemetery where his parents rest, as well as his older sister Maria, who died in 1991. The latter took his entire life with his brother Joseph (the future pope), following him to Rome.
Due to her weakened state of health, Benedict XVI traveled with a doctor and a nurse, but also with her private secretary, the German Archbishop Georg Ganswein, who now looks after her full time. In the photos of his trip he is seen moving only in a wheelchair.
Benedict XVI dreamed of his retirement in his native Bavaria, but paradoxically he spent the last four decades of his life at the Vatican.
In seven years of “retirement”, the German pope had only left his Vatican compound to travel to the papal palace of Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, in July 2019.
Joseph Ratzinger announced in Latin to the cardinals that he was resigning from being pope in February 2013, eight years after a pontificate undermined by a deep crisis.