Francis expresses his “gratitude” to Benedict XVI after his death

Pope Francis expressed this Saturday (31.12.2022) his “gratitude” to his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who died today in the Vatican: “Only God knows the value and strength of his intercession,” he said at the celebration of the first vespers of the end of the year in St. Peter’s Basilica.
“Speaking of gentleness, at this moment, the thought goes spontaneously to the beloved Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who this morning left us. With emotion, we remember his personality so noble, so gentle,” Francis said in his homily, in his first public statement since Ratzinger’s death.
And he added: “We feel in our hearts much gratitude, gratitude to God for having donated him to the Church and to the world, and gratitude to him for all the good he accomplished and, above all, for his witness of faith and prayer, especially in these last years of retired life.”
Francis asserted that “only God knows the value and strength of his intercession, of his sacrifices offered for the good of the Church.”

Video via Twitter: @dw_espanol
Francis to lead Benedict XVI’s funeral
The Argentine pontiff, seated in front of the main altar, officiated today in the Vatican temple the so-called first vespers of the Solemnity of Mary Most Holy Mother of God, a solemn act in which the “Te Deum” is sung in gratitude for the year that ends.
In his homily, referring to the figure of Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, elected after his resignation in February 2013, defended kindness “as a civic virtue” in today’s world.
This characteristic, he argued, “is an important factor of the culture of dialogue” and “indispensable to live in peace as brothers who do not always agree, it is normal, but who speak to each other.”
After the celebration of these vespers, it is expected that Francis, with mobility problems due to his knee, will leave the basilica to visit the traditional Bethlehem Portal of the square.
The burning chapel of Benedict XVI will open on Monday morning and will run until Wednesday, while it will be on Thursday when Francis presides over his funeral in St. Peter’s Square.

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Original source in Spanish

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