Pope Francis prayed for his predecessor’s passage to heaven as he presided over a particular New Yr’s Day Mass Sunday in St. Peter’s Basilica, a day after Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI died in retirement on the Vatican.
The massive basilica will host Benedict’s coffin beginning on Monday. Hundreds of trustworthy are anticipated to file by the coffin on the primary of three days of viewing.
Benedict, 95, died Saturday morning within the Vatican the place he had lived since retirement. He was the first pope in centuries to resign, citing his rising frailty.
Francis appeared weary and sat along with his head bowed as Mass started on the primary day of the 12 months, an event the Catholic church dedicates to the theme of peace.
He departed briefly from studying his homily, with its emphasis on hope and peace, to hope aloud for Benedict.
“Immediately we entrust to our Blessed Mom our beloved Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, in order that she could accompany him in his passage from this world to God,” he stated.
The pontiff will lead Benedict’s funeral on Thursday in St. Peter’s Sq.. That ceremony might be a easy one, the Vatican has stated, in step with the desires of Benedict, who for many years as a German cardinal had served because the Church’s guardian of doctrinal orthodoxy earlier than he was elected pope in 2005.
Within the final years, Francis has hailed Benedict’s beautiful choice to change into the primary pope to resign in 600 years and has made clear he’d take into account such a step as an possibility for himself.
Hobbled by knee ache, Francis, 86, on Sunday arrived within the basilica in a wheelchair, earlier than taking his place in a chair for the Mass, which was being celebrated by the Vatican’s secretary of state.
Francis, who has repeatedly decried the battle in Ukraine and its devastation, recalled those that are victims of battle, passing the year-end holidays in darkness, chilly and concern.
“In the beginning of this 12 months, we want hope, simply because the Earth wants rain,” Francis stated.