Pope Francis today entrusted the Virgin Mary to the “beloved” pope emeritus Benedict XVI, his predecessor and who died yesterday Saturday at the age of 95, during his homily for the first mass of the year in Saint Peter’s Basilica.
“Today we entrust to the Blessed Mother the beloved pope emeritus Benedict XVI to accompany him on his way from this world to God,” said the Argentine pontiff at this Eucharist, in his second public reaction on the death of Joseph Ratzinger.
Francisco, who was elected in 2013 after his historic resignation from the pontificate, yesterday expressed his gratitude for his service.
“Speaking of kindness, at this moment, thoughts go spontaneously to the dearest Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who left us this morning. With emotion, we remember his noble personality, so kind,” he said then.
And he added: “We feel great gratitude in our hearts, gratitude to God for having donated him to the Church and to the world, and gratitude to him for all the good he accomplished and, above all, for his testimony of faith and prayer, especially in these last years of retired life”.
Because, he claimed, “only God knows the value and strength of his intercession, of his sacrifices offered for the good of the Church.”
Benedict XVI died yesterday morning in the Vatican monastery where he had resided in retirement since his resignation from the Petrine ministry.
His funeral chapel will open tomorrow Monday in the Vatican basilica and the faithful will be able to say goodbye to him until Thursday, when Francis will preside over his funeral in Saint Peter’s Square before his burial in the temple’s crypt.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.