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Pope Francis leads the Mass to mark the World Day of Peace in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, on January 1, 2023. Photo:  Vatican Media/­Handout via Reuters

Pope Francis leads the Mass to mark the World Day of Peace in St. Peter’s Basilica on the Vatican, on January 1, 2023. Photograph: Vatican Media/­Handout by way of Reuters

Pope Francis prayed for his predecessor’s passage to heaven and once more expressed thanks for a lifetime of service to the church, throughout New Yr’s Day appearances a day after Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI died in retirement on the Vatican.

St. Peter’s Basilica, the place Pope Francis presided over a mid-morning New Yr’s Mass, will host Benedict’s coffin beginning on Monday. Hundreds of devoted are anticipated to file by the coffin in three days of viewing.

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Benedict (95) died Saturday morning within the Vatican monastery the place he had lived since retirement. He was the primary pope in centuries to resign, citing his rising frailty.

On Sunday, Benedict’s physique lay on a burgundy-colored bier within the chapel of the monastery. He was wearing a miter, the headgear of a bishop, and a crimson cloak-like vestment. A rosary was positioned in his hand. Behind him, seen in photographs launched by the Vatican, was the chapel’s altar and a adorned Christmas tree.

Pope Francis seemed weary and sat along with his head bowed as Mass started on the primary day of the yr, 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.

“At this time we entrust to our Blessed Mom our beloved Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, in order that she might accompany him in his passage from this world to God,” he stated.

Later, Pope Francis delivered extra remarks in regards to the retired pontiff when he supplied New Yr’s greetings to hundreds gathered in St. Peter’s Sq.

Referring to Mary, Francis stated that “in these hours, we invoke her intercession, particularly for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who, yesterday morning, left this world.”

“Allow us to unite all collectively, with one coronary heart and one soul, in giving because of God for the reward of this devoted servant of the Gospel and of the church,” stated Pope Francis, talking from a window of the Apostolic Palace to pilgrims and vacationers under.

The sq. would be the setting for Benedict’s funeral led by Francis on Thursday morning. The service shall be a easy one, the Vatican has stated, consistent with the desires of Benedict. Earlier than he was elected pope in 2005, Benedict was a German cardinal who served because the Church’s guardian of doctrinal orthodoxy.

In recent times, Pope Francis hailed Benedict’s beautiful choice to change into the primary pope to resign in 600 years and has made clear he’d contemplate such a step as an possibility for himself.

Hobbled by knee ache, Pope Francis (86) on Sunday arrived within the basilica in a wheelchair and took his place in a chair for the Mass, which was being celebrated by the Vatican’s secretary of state.

Pope Francis, who has repeatedly decried the war in Ukraine and its devastation, recalled those that are victims of conflict, passing the year-end holidays in darkness, chilly and worry.

“At the start of this yr, we’d like hope, simply because the Earth wants rain,” Pope Francis stated in his homily.

Whereas addressing the devoted in St. Peter’s Sq., the pope cited the “insupportable” conflict in Ukraine, which began more than 10 months ago, and conflicts elsewhere different locations on the planet.

But, Pope Francis stated, “allow us to not lose hope” that peace will prevail.

“In the complete world, in all peoples, a cry is rising, ‘No to conflict, no to re-armament,’ however (might) the sources go to growth, well being, meals, schooling, work.”


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