(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.sot vault pope benedict xvi first speech_00013817.jpgsot vault pope benedict xvi first speech_00013817.jpgsot vault pope benedict xvi first speech_00013817.jpgJUST WATCHED2005: Pope Benedict XVI’s first speechReplayMore Videos …MUST WATCH

2005: Pope Benedict XVI’s first speech 02:02Read MoreHere’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.”

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