UPDATED: Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has died, funeral will be held on 5 January

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Vatican has just announced that The 95-year-old Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI passed away on Saturday at 9:34 AM in his residence at the Vatican’s Mater Ecclesiae Monastery

The Holy See Press Office announced that he died at 9:34 AM on Saturday morning in his residence at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, which the 95-year-old Pope Emeritus had chosen as his residence after resigning from the Petrine ministry in 2013.

“With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 AM in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican. Further information will be provided as soon as possible.”

The Vatican said his body will lie in state from Monday in St.Peter’s Basilica. The Vatican has painstakingly elaborate rituals for what happens after a reigning pope dies but no publicly known ones for a former pope.

The Vatican has confirmed Pope Benedict XVI’s funeral will be held on 5 January.

A spokesperson said the service will take place next Thursday in St Peter’s Square.

The former pontiff’s body will be on public display in St Peter’s Basilica starting on Monday for people to pay their final respects.

Already for several days, the health conditions of the Pope Emeritus had worsened due to advancing age, as the Press Office had reported in its updates of the evolving situation.

Pope Francis himself publicly shared the news about his predecessor’s worsening health at the end of the last General Audience of the year, on 28 December.

The Pope had invited people to pray for the Pope Emeritus, who was “very ill”, so that the Lord might console him and support him “in this witness of love for the Church until the end.”

Following this invitation, prayer initiatives sprung up and multiplied on all continents, along with an outpouring of messages of solidarity and closeness from secular leaders

A file photo of Pope Benedict XVI greeting the faithful in La Valetta, Malta, 18 April 2010. EPA/MAURIZIO BRAMBATTI

Read more:

Once you're here...

%d bloggers like this: