Pope Francis requested “special prayers” for Pope Benedict XVI during the conclusion of his General Audience, saying that the pope emeritus is “very ill.”

“I would like to ask you all for a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict, who in silence is supporting the Church. Remember him – he is very ill – asking the Lord to console him, and sustain him in this witness of love for the Church, until the end.” 

The director of the Holy See Press Office confirmed that Benedict’s health has worsened, but reassured that the situation remains stable.

“In regard to the state of health of the Pope Emeritus, for whom Pope Francis asked for prayers at the end of this morning’s General Audience, I can confirm that in the last hours a worsening has been verified due to his advanced age. Up to the moment the situation is under control, followed constantly by the doctors.

At the end of the General Audience, Pope Francis went to the Mater Ecclesiae monastery to visit Benedict XVI. We join him in prayer for the Pope Emeritus.”

Vatican News afterwards shared A prayer for the health of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on Facebook, the text of which is below so you can pray too.

Let us pray.

Almighty and Eternal God,

You are the everlasting health of

those who believe in You.

Hear our prayers for your sick servant Benedict

for whom we implore the aid of Your tender mercy,

Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Pray for Pope Benedict XVI!

🙏

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