Francis pays tribute to Benedict XVI
New pope 'close in prayer' to predecessor19 March, 11:12
Francis pointed out that Tuesday is the feast of Saint Joseph and therefore Benedict's saint's day.
Benedict's birth name is Joseph Ratzinger.
"It is a coincidence rich with significance that today is also the feast of my venerated predecessor, to whom we are close in prayer, full of affection and gratitude," Francis said.
Benedict stepped down as pope last month, saying he no longer had the mental and physical strength to continue to lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.