Pope Francis prays for Benedict XVI as Vatican prepares to mourn former pontiff | World News

Pope Francis has offered a special New Year’s prayer for his predecessor Benedict XVI.

At the service in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, the pope prayed aloud. Benedict and implored the Virgin Mary to “support him in going into the arms” of God.

It follows Pope Emeritus, as Benedict was known after becoming the first pope in 600 years to resign in 2013. Died at the age of 95. on Saturday.

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The legacy of Pope Benedict XVI

Benedict’s body will lie in state at St Peter’s Basilica from Monday, the Vatican said.

Until then, it will remain in the small monastery inside the Vatican where he lived.

Benedict’s funeral will be held in front of the basilica in St. Peter’s Square on Thursday and will be presided over by Pope Francis.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said the funeral would be simple, solemn and dignified to honor Benedict’s wishes.

Read more:
World leaders paid tribute to the former Pope.
The resignation of ‘God’s Rottweiler’ shocked the world.
Controversies surrounding the reign of Pope Benedict

In the past few years, Pope Francis has celebrated Benedict’s decision to step down and suggested that he would consider such a move an option for himself.

Suffering from knee pain, the 86-year-old pontiff arrived in a wheelchair at the basilica ahead of Mass on New Year’s Day, an occasion the Catholic Church dedicates to the theme of peace.

The pope, who has repeatedly spoken out against the war in Ukraine, referred to people who are victims of war, spending the end of the year holidays in darkness, cold and fear.

“We need hope at the beginning of this year, just as the earth needs rain,” he said.

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