Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is expected to return to the Vatican this afternoon and will be received by Pope Francis. The Pope Emeritus has been living at the Papal residence in Castel Gandolfo for the past few months while renovations were made at his permanent residence at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in Vatican City.
According to a communique released by the Holy See, the Benedict XVI will arrive at the Vatican heliport shortly before 5:00 pm local time.
Also joining the Roman pontiff emeritus will be his secretary Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the Prefecture of the Papal Household, along with four woman from the “Memores Domini” lay association. The association have served in cooking, cleaning and maintaining the Papal Household for years.
“The monastery, built over 20 years ago at the bequest of Blessed John Paul II, has housed four different cloistered orders over the years: Poor Claires, Discalced Carmelites, Benedictine nuns, and Visitandine nuns,” the communique stated.
This is not the first time the pontiffs have met. After his election, Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had spoken several times over the phone. On March 23rd, Pope Francis visited the Apostolic Palace at Castel Gandolfo to meet with Benedict XVI.