First Posted: Aug 23, 2013 02:15 PM EDT

For Benedict XVI,it is clear that his choice of resigning his position in February was “God’s will”. (Photo : Reuters)

When Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI announced in February that he was resigning from his papacy, many wondered what prompted his decision. At that time, the official reason of his departure was related with the former Pope's health problems such as lack of strength.

Almost eight months later, Benedict XVI has broken his silence for the first time and has confessed that it was God who influenced in his decision to resign the papacy. According to the Zenit Catholic news agency, quoted by Mexican newspaper El Universal, during one of the few private visits he accepted after his retirement, the Pope Emeritus was questioned the reasons he quit his position, Benedict said: "God told me".

At the meeting, Joseph A. Ratzinger, the birth name of the former head of the Catholic Church, explained that the experience didn't involve some type of "apparition or any phenomenon of that kind." The former Pope said it was "a mystical experience", in which God put in his heart the need for meditation, "an absolute desire to stay alone with him, focused in prayer."

For Benedict XVI, who in last July visited Pope Francisco and requested his blessing, it is clear that his choice of resigning his position in February was "God's will".

According to the Zenit agency, the few meetings the Pope Emeritus accepted, he showed a discreet posture, and at the same time, he opened up and talked about his successor, Pope Francisco, in whom he "notices with satisfaction the wonders that the Holy Spirit is doing."

So, Ratzinger describes his decision as an "inspiration received from God," which has served to strengthen Catholic faith around the world.

Pope Benedict XVI announced in February, in a speech in Latin, the he would abdicate his papacy on February 28. "I have summoned this Consistory, not only to the three causes of canonization, but also to communicate a decision of great importance for this Church's life,"  the Pope Emeritus said at that time, according to the El Economista website.

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