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Pope Francis and Benedict Copyright: Vatican Media

Pope Francis Makes Christmas Visit to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Christmas Annual Tradition Normally Involves Pontiffs Praying and Speaking Privately

Copyright: Vatican Media

Pope Francis visited Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Friday Dec. 21, 2018, to personally give his Christmas greetings to the Pontiff Emeritus at his residence at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in Vatican City, reported the Holy See Press Office.

Vatican Media took photos of the encounter which we publish here. In recent visits for Christmas, the Pope and Pope Emeritus pray briefly together and speak briefly afterward.

Copyright: Vatican Media

In various occasions, Pope Francis likened Benedict XVI’s presence in the Vatican to having a “wise grandfather living at home.”

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio, Sky, and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': or

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