Pope Francis: “For him, much affection, gratitude and admiration”. The words of Father Georg in the Vatican: “Benedict XVI shining example”
“One year ago Pope Benedict XVI concluded his earthly journey after having served the church with love and wisdom. We feel so much affection, so much gratitude and admiration for him. May he bless us from heaven and accompany us”. Thus the Pope at the end of the Angelus invited “applause” for Benedict XVI in first anniversary of death Of Joseph Ratzinger.
Benedict XVI was a “shining example”, said Monsignor Georg Gänswein, Ratzinger’s secretary from 2003 until the last days of his life, presiding over the memorial mass celebrated this morning in the Vatican, in St. Peter’s Basilica, at the Altar of the Chair. During the homily, Gänswein, reports Vatican News, expressed gratitude to God “for the gift of his life, the richness of his teaching, the depth of his theology” of this “‘simple and humble worker in the Lord’s vineyard'” .
On the Chair of Peter from 19 April 2005 to 28 February 2013, Benedict XVI passed away at the age of 95, in the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, in the Vatican, where he had chosen to reside after renouncing the ministry of bishop of Rome announced on 11 February 2013. The news of the death, given by the Press Office of the Holy See on the morning of the last day of 2022, while the Church was preparing to celebrate the first Vespers of the solemnity of Mary Mother of God, immediately went around the world and countless messages of condolence arrived from the five continents from Episcopal Conferences, religious leaders, heads of State and government who wanted to underline various traits of the “humble worker in the Lord’s vineyard”. In the afternoon, in the homily delivered in the Vatican Basilica, during the Te Deum, Francis’ words for the “dearest Pope Emeritus”, a noble and kind person. “We feel so much gratitude in our hearts – he said with emotion -, gratitude to God for having given him to the Church and to the world; gratitude to him, for all the good he has done, and above all for his testimony of faith and prayer, especially – he added – in these last years of a retired life”.
‘The Pope was the first to pay homage to the body of Benedict XVI, shortly after his death. Francis himself a few days earlier, at the end of the general audience on 28 December, had informed the faithful of the precarious health conditions of his predecessor. “I would like to ask all of you – he said – for a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict, who in silence is supporting the Church”, so that the Lord would console him and support him “in this testimony of love for the Church, until the end”. On the same day Pope Ratzinger received the Anointing of the Sick.
After the news of his death, thousands wanted to pay their final farewell to the Pope Emeritus, first in the chapel of the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery for those closest to him, then from 2 to 4 January the homage moved to St. Peter’s Basilica, which saw the visit of over 200 thousand faithful. The funeral took place on January 5, in St. Peter’s Square crowded with 50 thousand people. Around 130 cardinals, 400 bishops and almost 3,700 priests concelebrated with Francis. The coverage of the funeral also saw the presence of 1,600 journalists accredited at the Holy See Press Office, while 200 broadcasters were connected. Benedict XVI’s body was then buried in the Vatican Grottoes, in the same place where John Paul II was buried, having been moved to the Basilica in 2011.
The memory of Giorgia Meloni
“Today marks the first anniversary of the passing of Pope Benedict XVI. In remembering a great man of history and a giant of reason, of faith, and of the positive synthesis between the one and the other, we continue to draw on his fruitful spiritual legacy and intellectual. It also has a profound civil value, capable of guiding everyone, believers and non-believers, because it continues to speak to the minds and hearts of people.” Thus the Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, on the occasion of the first anniversary of the death of Pope Benedict XVI.