Last March, the personal secretary to Benedict XVI said his mind is as sharp as ever, but that he never imagined living this long.

Earlier this week, a letter written by Benedict XVI after the passing of his closest friend said “I hope that I can join them soon.”

After that letter was published, personal secretary to the pope emeritus Archbishop Ganswein said Benedict XVI is still “full of zest for life.”

“The art of dying well, that is, ars moriendi, is part of the Christian life. Pope Benedict has been doing that for many years. Yet he is absolutely full of zest for life. He is stable in his physical weakness, crystal clear in his head, and blessed with his typical Bavarian humor.”

Speaking about the letter specifically, Ganswein said it came from the heart and was “lovingly intended.”

“On the contrary,” though, the letter did not mean “Benedict XVI no longer has any desire to live.”

Do you know any of these 15 surprising, but true interesting facts about Pope Benedict XVI?

And, learn about the time when Benedict XVI helped Ed & Lorraine Warren exorcise a succubus.

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