Former Pope Benedict XVI says he's preparing for 'Home'

Former Pontiff, 90, stepped down in 2013

By DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN
Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Pope Benedict XVI waves to pilgrims from the window of Castel Gandolfo on Feb. 28, 2013.

(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.

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."

Copyright 2018 by CNN NewSource. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.