Vatican City, 2 May 2013 (VIS) – Shortly before 5:00pm this afternoon, Pope Francis will go to receive Pope emeritus Benedict XVI who is returning to the Vatican after his two month stay at Castel Gandolfo.
Benedict XVI will leave Castel Gandolfo by helicopter around 4:30pm and will arrive some 20 minutes later at the Vatican heliport. From this afternoon on, the Pope emeritus will take up permanent residence at the “Mater Ecclesiae” convent, which has been recently restored. Joining him will be his secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the Prefecture of the Papal Household, and the four women of the “Memores Domini” lay association who have been part of the Papal Household for years, cleaning and cooking. The monastery, built over 20 years ago at the bequest of Blessed John Paul II, has housed four different cloistered orders over the years: Poor Claires, Discalced Carmelites, Benedictine nuns, and Visitandine nuns.
In these past two months, Pope Francis and the Pope emeritus have spoken several times by telephone, such as on 19 March and 16 April, respectively Benedict XVI's saint's day and his birthday. The two also met on 23 March in the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo.