HomeNEWSThis is Mater Ecclesiae, the monastery where Benedict XVI spent his last...

This is Mater Ecclesiae, the monastery where Benedict XVI spent his last moments of life

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI left this world on the morning of Saturday, December 31.

Photo: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

On the morning of Saturday, December 31, 2022, Benedict XVI, who was Pope of the Catholic Church from 2005 to 2013, lost his life while he was in the Mater Ecclesiaea monastery located in the Vatican gardens and very close to the Aquilone fountain.

His death, at the age of 95, came days after Pope Francis asked the faithful to pray for his health, noting that he was “very ill”.

The Mother of the Church, or in Latin the Mater Ecclesiae, was founded by Pope John Paul II in 1994 with the purpose of housing a group of contemplative nuns to pray for the Pope and for the Church. From 1994 to 1999 it was occupied by the Order of Santa Clara; from 1999 to 2004 by the order of the Discalced Carmelites; from 2004 to 2009 by the order of Saint Benedict; while from 2009 to 2012 by the order of the Visitation of Santa María.

Since 2012, it stopped fulfilling the functions ordered by Pope John Paul II. Since May 2, 2013, it has become the home of Benedict XVI. In addition to him, Georg Ganswein lived there, who was his private secretary, as well as four consecrated members of the Memores Domini community and a Belgian deacon.

The structure, which is distributed along four floors and in the past was an administrative building for the gendarmerie, has, among other rooms, 12 monastic cells, a wing of about 4,845 square feeta chapel, a choir, a library, a garden and an orchard for the cultivation of different types of fruits and vegetables.

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