Vatican City, 3 May 2013 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI returned to the Vatican after a two-month stay at Castel Gandolfo.
Arriving by helicopter at the Vatican heliport shortly after 4:45pm, Benedict XVI was accompanied by Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the Papal Household, and was greeted by: Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals; Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., secretary of State; Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State; Archbishop Angelo Becciu, substitute of the Secretariat of State; Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States; and Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca as auditor general of the Apostolic Camera. Bishop Sciacca, secretary general of the Governorate of Vatican City State.
The Pope emeritus then travelled to his new residence, the “Mater Ecclesiae” monastery. At the entrance, Pope Francis was awaiting him and welcomed him warmly. The two went to pray together in the monastery's chapel.
“Benedict XVI,” reads a press release from the Press Office of the Holy See, “is very happy to return to the Vatican, to the place where he wishes to dedicate himself … to the service of the Church, primarily through prayer.” This was his intention, announced by the Pope emeritus this past 11 February, the day he resigned the Petrine ministry.
The monastery, recently restored, is “a welcoming house,” Benedict XVI said. “Here one can work well.”