VATICAN CITY, APRIL 20, 2007 ( Benedict XVI will send the monetary gifts he received for his 80th birthday and the second anniversary of his pontificate to the Holy Land, Africa and other needy regions.

The Pope turned 80 on Monday and marked the second anniversary of his election on Thursday.

Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, the Holy Father's personal secretary, reported the intended destination of the gifts on Vatican Radio.

The cardinals of the Roman Curia gave the Pontiff a gift of €100,000 ($135,000) during the lunch they had with him in the Apostolic Palace on the day of his birthday, April 16.

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, presented Benedict XVI the gift, asking him that, if possible, the needs of Christians in the Holy Land could be kept in mind.


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