Let us join Pope Francis, Cardinal Cupich and Catholics across the world in praying for the soul of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament will celebrate Mass honoring Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on Thursday, January 5, 2023 at 7pm at Queen of the Rosary.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Just a few hours after retired Pope Benedict XVI died in his Vatican residence Dec. 31, Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office, provided a few early details of what to expect in the coming days.
The 95-year-old pope’s remains will be in St. Peter’s Basilica beginning the morning of Jan. 2 for people to pay their last respects and offer their prayers, he said. The funeral Mass, presided over by Pope Francis, will be in St. Peter’s Square Jan. 5 starting at 9:30 a.m. Rome time (7:00pm local time.)
While he did not offer precise details as to what the funeral Mass of a retired pope will look like, Bruni said that Pope Benedict wanted his funeral and related events to be carried out “in a sign of simplicity.”
Bruni also said the retired pope received the sacrament of the anointing of the sick Dec. 28, the day Pope Francis told people Pope Benedict was “very sick” and in need of prayers.
“Ask the Lord to console him and sustain him in his witness of love for the church until the very end,” Pope Francis had said at the end of his general audience.
Before the funeral, Bruni added, all scheduled events at the Vatican were to continue as planned, such as Pope Francis’ evening celebration of vespers and the recitation of the Te Deum Dec. 31.
“At this moment, our thoughts go spontaneously to our dearest Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who left us this morning,” Pope Francis told thousands of people joining him in St. Peter’s Basilica for the evening prayer service.
“With emotion we remember him as such a noble, such a gentle person,” the pope said. “And we feel so much gratitude in our hearts: gratitude to God for having given him to the church and to the world; gratitude to him, for all the good he accomplished, particularly for his witness of faith and prayer, especially in these last years of his retired life.”