The death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI this morning is very sad for all of us who admired him and the tremendous impact he has had upon the Church for the past 60 years. His legacy will continue to influence Catholic theology and the renewal and reform of the Church in the decades and centuries to come.
The brief announcement in the official newspaper of the Vatican, L’Osservatore Romano, says:
Benedict XVI has returned to the House of the Father. The Holy See Press Office announced a few minutes ago that the death occurred at 9:34 AM in the residence of the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, which the Pope Emeritus had chosen as his residence after resigning from the Petrine Ministry in 2013.
A statement released this morning by Director of the Holy See Press Office Matteo Bruni reads: “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 Pope Emeritus’s body will lie in state in the Vatican’s Basilica of Saint Peter as of 2 January 2023, to allow the faithful to offer their prayers and pay their respects.
Pope Francis will preside over the funeral service which will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, 5 January, in Saint Peter’s Square.
There is much more that can and will be said, but now is a time for prayer and mourning. May he rest in peace.
Here is the prayer provided by Vatican Media:
Prayer for the repose of the soul of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
A prayer for the soul of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI:
Father, eternal shepherd,
hear the prayers of your people for your servant Benedict,
who governed your Church with love.
In your mercy, bring him with the flock once entrusted to his care
to the reward you have promised your faithful servants.
May he who faithfully administered the mysteries
of your forgiveness and love on earth,
rejoice with you for ever in heaven.
In your wise and loving care,
you made your servant teacher of all your Church.
He did the work of Christ on earth.
May your Son welcome him into eternal glory.
May your servant whom you appointed high priest of your flock be counted now among the priests in the life of your kingdom.
Give your servant the reward of eternal happiness
and let your mercy win for us the gift of your life and love.
We entrust your servant to your mercy with faith and confidence.
In the human family he was an instrument of your peace and love.
May he rejoice in those gifts for ever with your saints.
Image: By SICDAMNOME – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45114950
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Mike Lewis is the founding managing editor of Where Peter Is. He and Jeannie Gaffigan co-host Field Hospital, a U.S. Catholic podcast.