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Byline: Nick Dorman

POPE Francis yesterday flew to visit his predecessor Benedict XVI for a historic lunch.

Benedict was waiting at the helipad of the Papal summer residence Castel Gandolfo, where the pair embraced after Francis landed.

In the chapel, they even shared the Pope's personal kneeler after Francis refused to take it alone, saying to Benedict: "We're brothers."

And they both bowed in prayer together. The piazza outside was packed with well-wishers wanting a glimpse of the historic meeting between two living Popes. A Vatican spokesman said Benedict offered his pledge of obedience to the new Pontiff.

Both wore white, though Benedict was in a simple cassock without the sash and cape worn by Francis.

Benedict has been living at Gandolfo since he resigned on February 28, the first pope to step down in 600 years. He plans to return to the Vatican to live in quiet devotion at a converted monastery.


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HISTORIC: Francis is greeted by Benedict at villa
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Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Mar 24, 2013
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