Pope Benedict XVI blesses the faithfull during the traditional 'Urbi et Orbi'' speech, which in Latin means 'to the city and to the world'', from the terrace of St. Peter's Basilica at the end of Easter Mass on April 16, 2006 in Vatican City.
Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images
Pope Benedict XVI blesses the faithfull during the traditional 'Urbi et Orbi'' speech, which in Latin means 'to the city and to the world'', from the terrace of St. Peter's Basilica at the end of Easter Mass on April 16, 2006 in Vatican City.
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CNN —  

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI says he “is on a pilgrimage toward Home” in a rare public letter published in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

The brief note in Italian apparently came after the paper asked the Pope Emeritus for a response to readers who were wondering how he was.

“I can only say,” Benedict wrote, “that in the slow waning of my physical forces, inwardly I am on a pilgrimage toward Home.”

“It is a great grace for me to be surrounded on this last part of the road, sometimes a bit tiring, by such love and goodness that I never could have imagined,” he wrote.

The 90-year-old former Pontiff has been living quietly at the Vatican since his surprise resignation as Pope in 2013.

02:02 - Source: Vatican TV
2005: Pope Benedict's first speech

Here’s the full text of Benedict’s letter:

“I was moved by the many readers of your newspaper who desire to know how I am spending this last period of my life. I can only say that in the slow waning of my physical forces, inwardly I am on a pilgrimage towards Home. It is a great grace for me to be surrounded, on this last part of the road, sometimes a bit tiring, by such love and goodness that I never could have imagined. In this sense, I consider the question of your readers as an accompaniment. I can only thank them and assure you all of my prayers.”