Pope Francis and the new cardinals visited Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery after the consistory held Saturday at St. Peter's Basilica.

In the brief but emotional meeting, Pope Francis greeted Benedict XVI with great affection and made the sign of the cross on his forehead. Then the new cardinals introduced themselves one by one to exchange brief messages.

The Holy See Press Office reported that “after having received their blessing, together with that of Pope Francis and having prayed the Salve Regina together, the new Cardinals went to the Apostolic Palace or the Paul VI Hall for courtesy visits. ”.

Benedict XVI, 95, personally participated in two of the eight consistories called by Pope Francis: February 22, 2014 and February 15, 2015. 

Since 2015, after participating in the opening of the Holy Door for the Extraordinary Holy Year of Divine Mercy, the public presence of Benedict XVI has noticeably decreased and since the 2016 consistory, the new cardinals have always visited the Pope Emeritus at the Monastery. Mater Ecclesiae.

Pope Francis has a custom of visiting Benedict XVI at Easter and Christmas. His last visit was on April 13, 2022, on the eve of Easter and three days after the 95th birthday of the Pontiff Emeritus.