Pope Benedict XVI passed away this weekend at the age of 95 following an illness.
Catholics worldwide are mourning his loss.
Former Pope Benedict, hero to Catholic conservatives, dies
Former Pope Benedict, the first pontiff in 600 years to resign and a standard bearer for conservatives who yearned for a more traditional Church, died on Saturday, ending an extraordinary period in which two men wearing white lived in the Vatican.
Benedict, 95, died in a former monastery where he had lived since his shock resignation in 2013.
In his first comment in public after the death, Pope Francis said the Church and the world had lost a noble, gentle person.
Bells tolled in Rome as news of his death, which followed a rapid decline in his health over Christmas, spread to the faithful on an unusually warm winter’s day. Many went to pray in St. Peter’s Square on hearing the news.
“Now we will only have one pope. I must say that Pope Ratzinger was a charismatic pope, humble but above all a great theologian,” said French tourist Emilie Gaillard, using Benedict’s family name.
The Vatican said his body would lie in state from Monday in St. Peter’s Basilica and that Pope Francis will preside at his funeral on Thursday morning in the same square where Benedict, who was then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, said the funeral Mass for his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, in 2005.
“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.
Further information will be provided as soon as possible.” pic.twitter.com/O5dxoPaVkT
— Vatican News (@VaticanNews) December 31, 2022
“The world offers you comfort. But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.” – Pope Benedict pic.twitter.com/5mAxJ7elma
— Ryan James Girdusky (@RyanGirdusky) December 31, 2022
Pope Benedict XVI’s last words:
“Jesus, I love you.” https://t.co/89b101Awwc
— CatholicVote.org (@CatholicVote) December 31, 2022
Rest in peace, sir.