Pope Francis prays with Benedict XVI before World Youth Day

Vatican City, Jul 19, 2013 / 10:55 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis met with former pontiff Benedict XVI today to pray for his trip to Brazil and for World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro next week.

The Pope also brought Benedict XVI the itinerary of his journey so that he could participate spiritually as well as follow the live broadcast of the event.

Pope Francis visited Benedict shortly after 4:00 p.m. local time at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, where the former Pope moved to live just a few months ago.

He paid tribute to the commemorative medal prepared for the journey and Benedict XVI assured him of his prayers, remembering the intense experiences of the past World Youth Days in Cologne, Sydney and Madrid.

The meeting began with a moment of prayer in the monastery’s chapel and continued with a friendly chat that lasted about half an hour.

Next week's global youth event in Rio will take place from July 23 – 28, during which Pope Francis will be staying in a modest residency, visiting a slum and traveling without his popemobile.

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