Just days after Pope Francis asked the world for prayers for Pope Benedict XVI given the serious illness he was battling, it was announced that Benedict XVI had passed away at the Vatican on Saturday.
According to Breitbart, the former pope passed at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican. He was 95.
"With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican," Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni announced in a statement.
"Further information will be provided as soon as possible."
Benedict, who took over for Pope John Paul II in 2005, would go on to serve Catholics around the world until 2013. That's when Benedict stunned the entire world by becoming the first pope in some 600 years to announce his retirement.
“With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican.
Further information will be provided as soon as possible.” pic.twitter.com/O5dxoPaVkT
— Vatican News (@VaticanNews) December 31, 2022
"After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to adequately exercising the Petrine ministry," Benedict said at the time.
He added that his ministry must be accomplished "not only with deeds and words, but no less with prayer and suffering."
His time as the pope also came at a time when the internet and social media messaging provided a new platform to push his messages to the masses.
Breitbart noted: "For the past nine years since his resignation, Benedict has lived in a monastery within the Vatican walls, devoting himself to prayer and occasional writing, maintaining a low profile."
Given his position and status within the Catholic community, Benedict received an outpouring of tributes across social media over the weekend.
Pope Emeritus Benedict 16th has died.
— Frank Pavone (@frfrankpavone) December 31, 2022
Many simply prayed.
Cardinals are keeping vigil at the mortal remains of Pope Benedict XVI. pic.twitter.com/SKb3wBhrtD
— Sanoj Thomas (@sanojthomas_) January 2, 2023