Please pray for Pope Benedict XVI!

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is “suffering from a painful disease,” the Vatican told Catholic News Agency.

German newspaper Passauer Neue Presse reported that Pope Benedict XVI “is seriously ill,” according to Pope biographer Peter Seewald. However, the Vatican updated the information, noting that his condition “is not serious.”

Pope Benedict’s personal secretary Archbishop George Ganswein said “the health conditions of the pope emeritus are not of particular concern, except for those of a 93-year-old who is going through the most acute phase of a painful, but not serious, disease.”

According to German reports, the pope has facial erysipelas, a bacterial infection causing painful, red rashes. It is easily treatable.

Benedict’s biographer Peter Seewald met the pope emeritus at his home in the Mater Ecclesia monastery in Vatican City on Aug. 1. Seewald gave him his most recent papal biography.

Seewald said after Benedict visited his brother in Germany in June, the pope has been “very frail” and his voice “barely audible.” However, he added that the pope remains in good spirits.

Benedict’s chosen place of burial

PNP also reported that Benedict chose Pope St. John Paul II’s former tomb St. Peter’s Basilica as his burial place. The Vatican moved the late pope’s body from the crypt to the upper basilica after his canonization in 2014.

Pope Benedict also wrote a spiritual testament to be published after his death.

A Prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Lord, source of eternal life and truth,
give to your shepherd a spirit
of courage and right judgment, a spirit
of knowledge and love.

By governing with fidelity
those entrusted to his care,
may he, as successor to the Apostle
Peter and Vicar of Christ, build your
Church into a sacrament of unity, love
and peace for all the world.


Prayer source: EWTN

[See also: 8 Surprising Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Pope Benedict XVI]

[See also: How Pope Benedict XVI Converted Newt Gingrich to Catholicism]

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