The Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away on December 31, 2022, at the age of 95, at the Mater Ecclesiae convent in the Vatican, to where he had retired after retiring from the papacy and where he spent the last years of his long life in retreat and prayer.
A significant exception had been the trip he made to Regensburg from June 18-22, 2020, to visit one last time his beloved elder brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, just days before his death. His last public appearance had been on June 28, 2016, in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace in the presence of Pope Francis on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of his priestly ordination.
Pope Francis had visited him several times, and various friends and visitors were also able to see him, reporting news and images that circulated via social media, so that we continued to feel accompanied by his discreet but vigilant presence, which was also sometimes manifested in responses to letters or short messages, through which his kindness and the sharpness and intensity of his spiritual presence invariably shone. Written interventions of more significant content had, however, been very few indeed.