Pope Francis Says He Is Preparing His Own Funeral

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Pope Francis

Pope Francis has said he has “already prepared” his tomb in a Rome basilica, a move that breaks from longstanding Vatican tradition.

The Catholic leader made the remarks during an interview with the Mexican broadcaster N+. r, but insisted he was not intending to resign from his position despite recent ill health.    

The Pope who turns 87 on Dec 17 said it was sensible to make arrangements for his passing, admitting that “when old age arrives and you reach your limits, you need to prepare yourself.”  

RT reports: Pope Francis has suffered a number of health issues during his ten years as pontiff. Most recently, he was hospitalized with acute bronchitis, forcing him to cancel several official visits, including to the 28th UN climate summit in Dubai. “Thank God it wasn’t pneumonia,” the pontiff said, alluding to the fact that he had part of one lung removed earlier in life.   

Despite the health concerns, Francis stated he is not planning to step down, declaring that “the pontificate is forever.” He conceded, however, that there is a “possibility” that he could take the same step as his predecessor, Pope Benedict XV, who became the first pontiff in six centuries to resign his position, citing physical and mental ill health.  

“He was a great and humble man who when he realized his limits had the courage to say ‘enough’,” Pope Francis said

The current pontiff plans to be the first pope in more than a century to be buried outside of the Vatican. He is working with staff in the Holy See to simplify the rite of papal funerals, and joked to the interviewer that he would be the one to debut it. 

The last of the pontiff’s antecedents to be buried outside the Vatican was Leo XIII in 1924, when his remains were moved from St. Peter’s Basilica to the Basilica of St. John Lateran. 

Pope Francis’ wish is to be buried at the Borghese Chapel of the Basilica of St. Mary Major, the home of the ‘Virgin Mary with the Child Jesus’ icon, painted by Luke the Evangelist. 

“It is my great devotion,” Francis said. “As I always promised the Virgin, and the place is already prepared, I want to be buried in St. Mary Major.” The pontiff added that he prays at the icon before and after every international visit.  

Niamh Harris
About Niamh Harris 15087 Articles
I am an alternative health practitioner interested in helping others reach their maximum potential.