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Pope Francis prays before the Maria Salus Populi Romani icon at the Basilica of St Mary Major in 2019 (Vatican Media)

While insisting that his health is improving and he has no plans to resign, Pope Francis has revealed that he’s begun making plans for his own funeral and burial. Source: Crux.

In an interview with Spanish-language news site N+ published yesterday, Pope Francis gave an update on his health after being forced to cancel a December 1-3 trip to Dubai for a United Nations climate summit, saying he is better, but people should be “a little bit” worried.

“I need you all to pray for my health,” he said, saying old age “does not put on makeup,” but it does come with many gifts, such as learning to see things “from another perspective”.

However, the pontiff, who turns 87 on December 17, insisted that “old age matures you a lot, it’s nice,” and that he generally feels better, despite a year marked with hospital stays and various health challenges.

Pope Francis affirmed that the papacy is a permanent job, but also stressed the need to be prepared for when the end comes.

He said he has met with the Papal Master of Ceremonies, Italian Archbishop Diego Ravelli, to plan out his own funeral and to modify the papal funeral rite, which he said, “We simplified quite a bit.”

“It had to be done,” he said, saying his place of entombment “is already prepared,” and that he will be buried in the Basilica of St Mary Major in Rome. This is home to the famed icon of Maria Salus Populi Romani, which he visits on special Marian holidays, and before and after every international trip he takes.

“Before, when I came, I always went there on Sunday mornings when I was in Rome, I would go there for a while. Yes, there is a very big connection,” he said.


While saying he’s better, Pope reveals plans for his funeral and burial (By Elise Ann Allen, Crux)