On Saturday Afternoon March 23rd 2013,Pope Francis met with Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI for the very first time. The meeting was both moving and historic.
After boarding a helicopter, the first Latin American Pope arrived to the small Italian town of Castel Gandolfo at about 12.15 pm, Rome time, to have lunch with his German predecessor.
Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, said it was “a moment of profound communion”. The video shows how inside the chapel, Benedict offered the place of honour to Pope Francis, who instead responded “we are brothers” and wanted them to share the same kneeler.
Then they went to the library where their private meeting began around 12:30pm. It is the place where popes usually receives important guests at Castel Gandolfo. Their meeting lasted 45 minutes.
Pope Francis gave Benedict an icon known as Our Lady of Humility.
Benedict had already expressed his unconditional reverence and obedience to his successor, now Pope Francis, at his last meeting with the cardinals on the last day of his pontificate, 28 March. SEE MORE AFTER CUT>>>>>>>>>>>>
At this point, Pope Francis is still living at the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta, but he will soon move into the Papal Apartments.
Benedict XVI has been living in Castel Gandolfo since February 28th, but he is expected to move into a Vatican Monastery in the month of May.
This is the first time in more than 600 years that two popes will be alive at the same time and in each others company. Usually one would have to die before the other takes over…but Pope Benedict XVI retired last month.
Pope Francis flew to Castel Gandolfo by helicopter today to visit Benedict who has been living at the papal villa since he officially retired on February 28. They prayed together in the chapel before sharing a private lunch.