TEMPLE, Texas (FOX 44) — The passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has left many Catholic communities mourning the legacy of a virtuous and godly man.

On the last day of 2022, Pope Benedict spoke his final words to the loved ones and admirers who were around him.

Now, St. Luke’s Pastor Guzaldo shared with FOX 44 News what those words were and how they spoke volumes to the essence of who he was as a Catholic leader.

“They told us what he said. He said, Jesus, I love you. The last words on his on his lips. He mentioned the Lord, his love for the Lord. So in his last moments, he reminded us what is most important, is not what is most important, but who is most important,” says Father John Guzaldo.

With decades of history and involvement within the Roman Catholic community, Pope Benedict served as Pope for 8 years from 2005 to 2013. Shocking many as the first Pontiff in 600 years to resign from his position.

His legacy reigns in both large and smaller communities close to home, as a powerful force since he was first ordained in 1981.

Some of his most noteworthy work being in addressing the abuse in the clergy and acknowledging the discomfort indigenous communities faced in residential schools.

But the most prominent attribute being the many lives he touched.

“He was always seen as a solid a solid priest, a solid bishop who loved his vocation, loved his priesthood, loved his celibacy, loved the church,” shared Pastor Guzaaldo.

St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Temple will be holding a mass of remembrance of the dead for Pope Benedict Friday morning.

Church members and the community are all invited to attend and celebrate his life.