VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has visited Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI ahead of his trip to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day — a trip Benedict had planned to make before retiring in February.
The Vatican said Francis spent about a half-hour Friday with Benedict and asked him for his prayers for the July 22-28 trip. Francis gave Benedict the booklet outlining the program as well as the commemorative medal that has been prepared for the trip.
Benedict participated in three World Youth Day events: in Cologne, Germany, soon after he was elected in 2005; in Sydney, Australia, in 2008; and Madrid, Spain, in 2011.
His doctors reportedly warned him against making the transatlantic flight to Rio for the 2013 edition, one of the reasons behind his decision to retire.