10:17 05 May 2013
Two months after resigning, ex-Pope Benedict returns to Vatican on Thursday morning; making a new history of having a retired pontiff living alongside a reigning one. Pope Francis cordially welcomed Benedict outside his new retirement home, a converted Mater Ecclesiae convent behind St Peter’s Basilica.
It was described as “small but well equipped” by Vatican’s spokesman. It includes a guest room for Benedict’s brother, attached chapel, a study, and a library.
A photo showing the two men clasped and both smiling was released by Vatican. This photo somehow eased worries on Benedict’s health as it showed no further decline. On March 23, images of Benedict were released showing the ex-pope’s visibly more frail and thinner body.
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said that Benedict isn’t suffering from any special illness. He added: "He is a man who is not young: He is old and his strength is slowly ebbing. However, there is no special illness. He is an old man who is healthy."
According to Vatican, Benedict will now dedicate himself to a life of private prayer in the service of the Church.
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