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.
The letter also said "it is a great grace for me to be surrounded ... by such love and goodness that I never could have imagined."