On Wednesday, an Italian newspaper published a letter from retired Pope Benedict which highlights the former Pope's reflection that he is in the last phase of life and now on a 'pilgrimage towards home'.
The retired Pope, 90, made the remarks in a nine line letter to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, who had presented him with letters from readers asking about his well-being.
"It is a great grace for me to be surrounded, in this last point of a sometimes tiring path, with affection and kindness that I would not have imagined", Benedict added.
The letter, dated February 5, was hand-delivered to Massimo Franco, a columnist for Corriere della Sera, the most prestigious newspaper in Italy, which takes the role of "newspaper of record" that the New York Times does in the United States.
He said he considers the questions and concerns of the readers part of the love he has experienced, and sees them as "an accompaniment" on the last phase of his life. That is why I can not but be grateful, and assure all of you of my prayers.
The paper says it had contacted Benedict XVI through a "reserved channel" to ask him how he was doing.
Since his resignation in 2013, Benedict has been living in the Mater Ecclesiae [Mother of the Church] monastery in the Vatican gardens.
He is the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years, the first Jesuit Pope and the first from the Americas.
Pope Benedict XVI finishes his last general audience in St Peter's Square at the Vatican.
However, these visits have reduced in recent months.