Archbishop Tutu visits Mandela in hospital

By the Associated Press | July 19, 2013 | 12:36 PM EDT

Bishop Desmond Tutu, center, celebrates former South African President Nelson Mandela's birthday at a school in Cape Town, South Africa, Thursday, July 18, 2013. South Africa celebrated Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday on Thursday, a milestone capped by news that the former president's health was improving after fears that he was close to death during ongoing hospital treatment. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Archbishop Desmond Tutu visits Nelson Mandela in hospital and says the ailing former president is "peaceful"after marking his 95th birthday.

Retired Anglican archbishop Tutu said Mandela was asleep when he visited the Pretoria hospital room. Tutu said he held Mandela's hand.

Mandela has been hospitalized since June 8 with a recurring lung infection and is in critical but stable condition. Mandela family members said he has made "remarkable progress" in recent days, after fears that he was close to death. Mandela remains on a breathing ventilator.

Thousands of South Africans and others around the world celebrated Mandela's birthday Thursday by working on community service projects. Tutu visited a school in Cape Town on Thursday to honor Mandela's birthday.