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In memoriam: Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
January 4, 2023 12:32 PM

Pope Francis led tributes to his predecessor after Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI died on December 31, 2022 in a monastery in the Vatican at the age of 95. “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 giving him to the church, and to the world,” Francis said in Saint Peter’s Basilica while leading traditional vespers ceremony ahead of New Year’s Day. “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 life. Only God knows the value of his sacrifices for the good of the church,” Francis added.

Benedict, who was the first pontiff in almost 600 years to resign his position, rather than hold office for life, passed away on December 31, 2022, according to a statement from the Vatican. “With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican,” the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Matteo Bruni said. Francis went to see Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI soon after he passed away Saturday morning, according to Bruni.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was born on April 16, 1927 in Bavaria, Germany and his priesthood ordination was on June 29, 1951. On April 18, 2005, he was elected the 264th successor of Saint Peter and chose the name Bendict XVI. On February 28, 2013, he announced his resignation.

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