Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has died at the age of 95, the Vatican announced.
His death on Saturday came days after Pope Francis had asked for prayers for his predecessor, saying he was “very sick”.
Benedict became the first pope in 600 years to resign in 2013 citing his ‘advanced age’.
But in 2020, the Vatican confirmed he had suffered from a ‘painful but not serious condition’.
Vatican spokesperson, Matteo Bruni, had issued a statement on Thursday morning confirming Benedict’s condition had worsened ‘in the last few hours’ due to his ‘advancing age’.
But he had said it was ‘under control’ and that it was being monitored by doctors.
Benedict died at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican City, where he had been living for the past decade.
It is yet unclear when his funeral will be held and what the ceremony would look like.
Tens of thousands of people are expected to travel to Rome and then the Vatican to pay their respects, particularly from his native Germany.
Questions about what would happen when Benedict dies had already been raised, given the unprecedented reality of having a reigning pope presumably presiding over the funeral of a former pope.
Most Vatican experts expect any funeral would resemble that of a retired bishop of Rome, albeit with the caveat that there would be official delegations to honour a former head of state.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES