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Benedict XVI. The last words of the retired pope. The funeral will take place on Thursday

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Jesus, I love You – these were the last words spoken by Benedict XVI before his death. The pope emeritus died on Saturday, December 31. Funeral ceremonies presided over by Pope Francis will take place on Thursday.

Alarming reports of Benedict XVI’s ill health began to trickle down from the Vatican after Pope Francis asked for prayers for the “very ill” retired pope during Wednesday’s general audience. – I would like to ask you all to pray in a special way for the retired Pope Benedict, who silently supports the Church – he appealed.

Benedict XVI – last words

On the same day, the Holy See published a communiqué in which it informed about the deteriorating health of Benedict XVI. Old age was given as the reason. Another statement said “heavy” but “stable” state of a 95-year-old priest. The Italian news agency Ansa reported that reports coming directly from the Mater Ecclesiae building in the Vatican Gardens, where Benedict XVI lived, show that despite his serious condition, the retired pope attended Mass in his room on Friday morning.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in June 2020PAP/EPA

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Benedict XVI died on Saturday morning. Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office, said the death of the retired pope occurred at 9.34 am. “Jesus, I love you,” were his last words, the Argentine daily La Nacion quoted by the Polish Press Agency, citing sources in the Vatican. Benedict XVI spoke them in German, in his mother tongue.

Funeral Mass of Benedict XVI

The body of Benedict XVI was placed in the chapel of the Mater Ecclesiae monastery building. From nine o’clock on Monday morning, it will be put on display for three days in St. Peter’s Basilica. The funeral mass for the retired pope will take place at 9.30am on Thursday, January 5, presided over by Pope Francis in St. Peter – Mattteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office, said on Saturday. As he added, in accordance with the wishes of the retired pope, the celebrations will be held “under the sign of simplicity”. He noted that the funeral would be “solemn but modest”. The Vatican has announced that no entry cards are required for the Mass.

Peter’s Basilica in Rome before the funeral of retired Pope Benedict XVIPAP/EPA/FABIO FRUSTACI

SEE ALSO: Press about Benedict XVI: the last conservative who revolutionized the papacy

Benedict XVI will be buried in the Vatican Grottoes – the basement of St. Peter’s Basilica, i.e. where the tomb of his predecessor John Paul II was located until his beatification in 2011, the Vatican announced in a statement. The ceremony will take place after the funeral mass.

First pope in 600 years to abdicate

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected pope on April 19, 2005, on the second day of the conclave, seventeen days after the death of John Paul II (who died on April 2). As the 265th pope in history, he took the name Benedict XVI and the motto Cooperatores Veritatis (Truth associates).

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope FrancisANSA/PAP/EPA

He was the head of the Catholic Church for nearly eight years. On February 11, 2013, he unexpectedly announced his abdication, citing advanced age as the reason. This decision caused shock and amazement around the world. It was emphasized that this was the first such case in six hundred years. However, there were comments that it testified to a deep responsibility for the Church.

SEE ALSO: Pope Francis: We feel grateful to God for giving Benedict XVI to the Church and the world

Main photo source: CLAUDIO ONORATI/PAP/EPA

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