On December 31, the pope emeritus’ passing was announced in Rome.

As Benedict XVI approached the end of his earthly journey, he spoke his final words to a nurse who did not speak German.

According to the Vatican News, Benedict’s personal secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, revealed that the late pope spoke in a soft but clear voice, saying “Lord, I love you!” in Italian. These were reportedly his last comprehensible words, as he was no longer able to express himself afterwards.

Gänswein took it upon himself to inform Pope Francis of the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Shortly after receiving the news, Pope Francis traveled to the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery to offer prayers for the deceased pope’s soul.

It was only three days earlier that Pope Francis had visited Benedict, who was already gravely ill at the time.

Pope Francis will preside over the funeral Mass, which will take place on January 5 at 9:30 AM Rome time in St. Peter’s Square.

The late pope’s body began to lie in state in St. Peter’s Basilica on January 2, and following the funeral, he will be laid to rest in the Vatican crypt.

According to the Vatican press office director Matteo Bruni, “In accordance with the wish of the pope emeritus, the funeral will be carried out under the sign of simplicity.”

He said Benedict received the sacrament of anointing of the sick on December 28.

🙏 Pray for the eternal repose of his soul!

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