All is quiet in Castel Gandolfo today as the Pope spends the day resting and praying. The date of the Conclave is yet to be announced
Rest and prayer for the Pope Emeritus
His Holiness Benedict XVI, who is now “Emeritus Pope”, spent a quiet first night in Castel Gandolfo since his resignation yesterday evening. According to Fr. Lombardi “he slept very well.” His day began with Mass at 7 am, followed by the recitation of the Breviary, the lauds, the office of readings; and then breakfast. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI took a large number of letters, books and music with him to Castel Gandolfo, as well as his piano. Fr. Federico Lombardi said this in his usual press conference with journalists in the Vatican Press Office.
Commenting on a telephone conversation he had with Mgr. Georg Ratzinger, who has followed Benedict XVI to Castel Gandolfo, Fr. Lombardi said: “His Holiness will spend today between prayer and reflection and he will see the messages that he has received. In the afternoon he may have his usual walk in the gardens to pray the rosary.”
While the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican City remains locked up, the papal apartments at Castel Gandolfo, where Benedict XVI is residing, have been left open. Fr. Lombardi said Benedict XVI “is only inhabiting the apartments [at Castel Gandolfo, and I see no reason for any part of the building to be sealed off.”
The date of the Conclave will not be announced on Monday
Regarding the enigma of the Conclave start-date, Fr. Lombardi said “We should not expect the decision on the Conclave start-date to be given on Monday. The congregations of cardinals do not usually make this decision on the first day.”
After turning his “thoughts, which are full of gratitude, to the dear figure of the Holy Father, whom we would like to extend our affection and prayers to,” The vicar general of the diocese of Rome, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, sent a letter to priests, deacons, monks, nuns and Catholic faithful this morning, inviting “the diocesan community and all faithful to pray especially to the Lord, so that he Holy Spirit may enlighten cardinal electors who have been entrusted with such an important task.” He urged all ecclesiastical communities to “take advantage of opportunities to give catecheses on the Pope’s ministry and to pray for the new Pope.”