His Holiness, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI passed away on December 31, 2022 at his residence in the Vatican at the age of 95. A theologian and scholar, he was elected pope in 2005 at the age of 78. In 2013, declining physical health led him to become the first pope to resign in over 600 years. As Pope Emeritus, he served the church through a life dedicated to prayer and lived in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican Gardens near St Peter’s.

Beginning January 2nd, his Body will lie in state in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. His Funeral Mass will be celebrated by Pope Francis on January 5th in St. Peter’s Square.  

Pope Francis, in his homily during Vespers, said “And speaking of kindness, at this moment, my thought naturally goes to dear Pope emeritus Benedict XVI who left us this morning. We are moved as we recall him as such a noble person, so kind. And we feel such gratitude in our hearts: gratitude to God for having given him to the Church and to the world; gratitude to him for all the good he accomplished, and above all, for his witness of faith and prayer, especially in these last years of his recollected life. Only God knows the value and the power of his intercession, of the sacrifices he offered for the good of the Church.”

Let us join together in gratitude for the life of Pope Emeritus Benedict, and offer our prayers for his repose.

Eternal rest grant unto Benedict, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. May his soul and all the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

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