Pope emeritus Benedict XVI who abdicated his throne nine years ago, dies this morning, the Vatican Press office announced.

The Vatican said in a statement that the 95-year-old passed away at 9:34 a.m. this morning in his residence.

The emeritus Pontiff chose the Vatican’s Mater Ecclesiae Monastery as his residence after resigning as Pope in 2013.

“With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 AM in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican.

“Further information will be provided as soon as possible.”

The Vaticsn asked the faithful to bid Benedict farewell as from Monday, 2 January 2023 when his body is on display at Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome.

Pope Francis II gave an indication of his predecessor’s failing health on 28 December at the end of this year’s last General Audience.

The Pope then invited Catholics to pray for Benedict who was “very ill.”

Benedict was elected Pope after the death of Pope John Paul II and reigned as head of the Catholic Church from 19 April 2005 until his resignation on 28 February 2013.

He resigned the position, citing inability to carry out the burden of the office.

Pope Emeritus Benedict dies