2013-05-02 16:36:38

Benedict XVI returns to the Vatican

May 02, 2013: Thursday afternoon, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will return to take up permanent residence in Vatican City State. He had been residing in the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo since his resignation from the papacy on February 28th last. Benedict XVI will reside at the "Mater Ecclesiae" Monastery which has been undergoing renovation since November 2012, and until then was inhabited by Visitation nuns.

Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican Press Office director, confirmed to press that the Pope Emeritus will leave Castel Gandolfo by helicopter at approximately 16:30 local time. Benedict XVI will reside with his secretary, the prefect of the Pontifical Household, Msgr. Georg Gaenswein, and the four memores domine who have been part of his household in these years.

On 28 February, as he prepared to step down, Benedict XVI greeted the many faithful who had welcomed him to Castel Gandolfo calling himself "a simple pilgrim", now in the last stage of his earthly journey, but always close to the Church in spirit and prayer. Prayers he also promised the new Pope - Pope Francis – whom he historically met on March 23 at Castel Gandolfo

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