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Pope and Monti exchange birthday, name day greetings

Italian PM turns 69, pontiff marks St Joseph's Day

19 March, 13:54
Pope and Monti exchange birthday, name day greetings (ANSA) - Rome, March 19 - Pope Benedict XVI and Italian Premier Mario Monti exchanged greetings Monday for the pontiff's name day, after St Joseph, and the premier's birthday.

Both sides said the telephone conversation had been "very cordial".

Monti was born on March 19, 1943 and so turned 69 on Monday.

The birth name of the pope, 84, is Joseph Ratzinger.

Catholics called Joseph celebrate March 19 as their name day after Jesus's earthly father, the carpenter Joseph, and the day is also Father's Day in many countries.

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