Not only did Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI return to the Vatican for the first time since he resigned in February — the former pontiff also returned to his new home, the newly-renovated Mater Ecclesiae, a converted monastery on the edge of the Vatican gardens. (Pictured above).
The Mater Ecclesiae (Mother of the Church) features a substantial four-story modern home within it, complete with a chapel, garden and roof terrace. Fox News reports the home also has a small library and study, in addition to a guest room for when his brother Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, comes to visit.
“It is certainly small but well-equipped,” Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi told The Associated Press. As NBC News reports, the moving of the Pope Emeritus to a residence so close to the current reigning pope, Pope Francis, is an “unprecedented arrangement.” In a further twist, the Vatican also announced that the pope emeritus will live in the home with his secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein and the four consecrated women who look after him and will prepare his meals.
Currently, reigning Pope Francis continues to live in a simple hotel suite at the Casa Santa Marta hotel while his official home at Palazzo Apostolico is being renovated.