Benedict returns to Vatican

Published 05 May 2013  |  

After a two-month stay at Castel Gandolfo, Benedict XVI has moved into his new permanent residence within the walls of the Vatican

The "Mater Ecclesiae" monastery has been specially renovated to become his new home in retirement.

Benedict was greeted at the entrance to the monastery by his successor Pope Francis, before the two went to pray together in the monastery's chapel.

A Vatican spokesman said Benedict was "very happy" to return to the Vatican and that his new residence was a place where the Pope Emeritus wished to "dedicate himself to the service of the Church, primarily through prayer".

Announcing his resignation in February, Benedict had stated his intention to devote the rest of his life to prayer and reflection.

Benedict described his new residence in the monastery as "welcoming".

"Here one can work well," he said.

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