Read: The letter Pope Francis wrote Benedict when his brother died

Msgr. Georg Ratzinger and his brother, now-retired Pope Benedict XVI, are seen in 2006 praying at their parents' grave in Pentling, Germany. Msgr. Ratzinger died July 1 at the age of 96. (CNS photo/Wolfgang Radtke, KNA) Msgr. Georg Ratzinger and his brother, now-retired Pope Benedict XVI, are seen in 2006 praying at their parents' grave in Pentling, Germany. Msgr. Ratzinger died July 1 at the age of 96. (CNS photo/Wolfgang Radtke, KNA) 

Pope Francis sent a letter of condolence to Benedict XVI, the emeritus pope, on the death of his brother Georg Ratzinger, in Regensburg, Germany, on July 2.

In the letter, Francis reveals that Benedict was the first to inform him of the sad news. He then wrote a letter to him in German to convey his condolences.

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The full text of Pope Francis’ letter to Benedict, in a translation published on Vatican News, follows:

To his Holiness
Benedict XVI
Pope emeritus

You had the sensitivity to be the first to inform me of the news of the death of your beloved brother, Monsignor Georg. I wish to renew my deepest sympathy and spiritual closeness to you in this moment of sorrow.

I assure you of my prayers of suffrage for the late and lamented, that the Lord of life, in His merciful goodness, may welcome him into heaven and grant him the reward prepared for faithful servants of the Gospel.

I pray also for you, Your Holiness, invoking the Father, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for the support of Christian hope and tender divine consolation.

Always united in faith in the Risen Christ, the source of hope and peace,

Filially and fraternally,

Francis

From the Vatican, 2 July 2020

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