Pope Benedict XVI died on December 31st, aged 95, after a sudden deterioration in his health earlier this week due to his advancing age. Source: The Tablet.
At his last general audience of the year on December 28, Pope Francis had requested prayers for Benedict, who had been living in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican since his resignation in February 2013. He was the first pope in six centuries to resign.
Pope Francis had described him as “very sick” and the Vatican subsequently clarified that there had been a downturn in his health.
The Holy See press office announcement yesterday said: “With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9.34 AM in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican. Further information will be provided as soon as possible. As of Monday morning, 2 January 2023, the body of the Pope Emeritus will be in Saint Peter’s Basilica so the faithful can bid farewell.”
Matteo Bruni, press office director, said that from Monday morning, the body of the Pope Emeritus will be in St Peter’s Basilica so the faithful can pay their respects.
Pope Francis will preside at the funeral Mass to be celebrated on Thursday, January 5. Heads of state, other dignitaries, cardinals, bishops and religious are expected to travel from all over the world to attend.