File photo of Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (Vatican Media)
Let us pray.
Almighty and Eternal God,
You are the everlasting health of
those who believe in You.
Hear our prayers for your sick servant Benedict
for whom we implore the aid of
Your tender mercy,
Through Christ our Lord.
The Vatican’s news service posted a prayer for the health of Benedict XVI today, after Pope Francis asked Catholics to pray for the “very ill” pope emeritus.
At the end of his weekly public audience today, Pope Francis said: “I ask to all of you a special prayer for the pope emeritus Benedict, who, in silence, is sustaining the Church.”
“Remember him — he is very ill — asking the Lord to console him and to sustain him in this testimony of love for the Church until the end.”
Shortly afterward, the Vatican’s spokesperson, Matteo Bruni, confirmed that the 95-year-old Benedict XVI’s health had worsened “in recent hours.”
“The situation at the moment remains under control, constantly followed by doctors,” Bruni said, noting that Pope Francis had gone to visit Benedict at his home in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery on Vatican grounds.