VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Retired Pope Benedict XVI is celebrating his 88th birthday with a party at his old summer residence and a pint of beer.
Photos released by the Vatican newspaper Thursday show Benedict toasting a group of Bavarians in the gardens of the papal residence at Castel Gandolfo, accompanied by his older brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, and his longtime private secretary.
Pope Francis celebrated Mass in Benedict's honor Thursday morning, saying he hopes God "supports him and gives him much joy and happiness."
The photos were the first proof that Benedict has used the papal summer residence since he spent several months there following his February 2013 resignation.
Francis has declined to use the estate, preferring to stay in the Vatican hotel even during the hot summer months.