Pope Francis said in a recent interview that he has picked out a place to be buried, but he also said he does not expect to need it quite yet.
The pope, who will be 87 on Sunday, was interviewed by Mexican television, according to the Telegraph.
Unlike recent predecessors who were buried within the Vatican, Pope Francis wants to be buried in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, which is located outside Vatican City but within Rome.
“The place is already prepared,” he said.
The pope stops there to pray there, by a Byzantine-style painting of Mary holding the baby Jesus, before and after every foreign trip.
“It’s my great devotion,” he said.
He added that he wants to scale back the papal funeral ceremony.
“When old age arrives and you reach limits, you need to prepare yourself,” he said. “I will launch a new funeral ritual.”
“I feel good, I feel improved. Sometimes I’m told I’m not prudent because I feel like doing things and moving around. I guess those are good signs, no? I am quite well,” he said.
Francis said that in the past year, he had become firmer with conservative critics in the Catholic Church, saying, “There are some you need to stand up to a bit.”
Although travel had been cut back due to his illnesses, Francis said he will visit Belgium next year and is considering visits to Polynesia and Argentina, his native country, according to the Associated Press.
“It is true that all journeys are now rethought. If they’re close by, they can be done. If they’re farther away, they are rethought. There are limits,” he said.
Francis said although newly elected Argentine President Javier Milei had criticized him during the recent campaign, Milei also invited him back home.
“In an election campaign, things are said ‘in jest’ — they are said seriously, but they are provisional things, things that are used to create a bit of attention, but which later fall away by themselves,” Francis said.
“You have to distinguish a lot between what a politician says in the election campaign and what he or she is really going to do afterwards, because then comes the moment of concrete things, of the decisions,” he said.
Francis said he has no plans to step down, but he would resign if it seemed that is what he ought to do.
“I ask the Lord to say enough, at some point, but when he wants me to,” he said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.