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Pope Francis, at December 31 Vespers, pays tribute to Pope Benedict’s kindness

January 02, 2023

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CWN Editor's Note: On the evening of December 31, Pope Francis presided in St. Peter’s Basilica at the celebration of First Vespers for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (video, booklet).

During his homily, Pope Francis emphasized kindness as “a civic virtue,” “an important aspect of the culture of dialogue,” and “an antidote against several pathologies of our societies.”

“And speaking of kindness, at this moment, my thought naturally goes to dear Pope emeritus Benedict XVI who left us this morning,” he said. “We are moved as we recall him as such a noble person, so kind.”

“And we feel such gratitude in our hearts: gratitude to God for having given him to the Church and to the world; gratitude to him for all the good he accomplished, and above all, for his witness of faith and prayer, especially in these last years of his recollected life,” the Pope added. “Only God knows the value and the power of his intercession, of the sacrifices he offered for the good of the Church.”

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