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Pope Francis asks for prayers for Benedict XVI on anniversary of resignation

Pope Francis prays with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Pope Francis prays with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

On the anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation, Pope Francis has called on the faithful to pray for Pope Emeritus Benedict today. According to Zenit News Agency Pope Francis tweeted, "Today, I ask you to join me in prayer for His Holiness Benedict XVI, a man of great courage and humility."

On Feb. 11, 2013, Benedict XVI announced his resignation, citing declining health. He stated "However, in today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of St. Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me." Benedict told the Cardinals in 2013.

His resignation led to the election of Pope Francis. Pope Francis has met and prayed with Pope Emeritus Benedict several times. He has likened him to 'a wise grandfather'.

After returning from Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis said,"There is one thing that describes my relationship with Benedict: I have such great affection for him. I have always loved him. For me, he is a man of God, a humble man, a man of prayer. I was happy when he was elected Pope. Also, when he resigned, for me, it was an example of greatness. A great man. Only a great man does this!"

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI now lives at Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in Vatican City.