The true shepherd is one who knows even the path that passes through the
valley of the shadow of death;
one who walks with me even on the path of final solitude,
where no one can accompany me, guiding me through:
he himself has walked this path,
he has descended into the kingdom of death,
he has conquered death,
and he has returned to accompany us now and to give us the certainty that, together with him, we can find a way through.
The realization that there is One who even in death accompanies me,
and with his "rod and staff comforts me,"
so that "I fear no evil" (cf. Ps. 23 :4)—
this was the new "hope" that arose over the life of believers.
Salvi, paragraph 6
Pope Benedict XVI