Tens of thousands view body of former Pope Benedict

VATICAN CITY, Jan 2 (Reuters) – A steady stream of tens of thousands of people poured into St. Peter’s Basilica on Monday to pay their respects to former Pope Benedict XVI, whose body was laid to rest without any papal regalia ahead of his funeral. was in a state of this week.

Benedict, a hero of conservative Catholics yearning for a return to a more traditional church, died on Saturday at the age of 95 in the secluded Vatican monastery where he had lived since 2013, 600 years after he resigned. Became the first Pope.

Veronica Siegel, a 16-year-old Catholic high school student from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who is in Rome for a religious studies program, told Reuters after seeing the body in St. Peter’s Square. He was a grandfather.” .

He said he had read a book by Benedict on Jesus for one of his courses.

“I know he’s in a better place because he was a holy man and he led very well,” said his classmate, Molly Foley, also from Atlanta, Georgia. A third girl in the group wore an American flag on her back.

Lire Aussi :  S&P posts 4th straight decline as recession talk weighs on Wall Street

Security was tight, with visitors passing through several checkpoints before entering the basilica. Many people stopped to pray after seeing the body or stayed to attend mass in the side chapels.

Vatican police say 65,000 people filed past on the first day.

Benedict’s body, dressed in red and gold liturgical vestments and placed on a simple dais, was carried in an early morning procession through the Vatican Gardens from the monastery to a place in front of the main altar of Christendom’s largest church. was taken away

Two Swiss guards stood at attention on either side of the body, which did not bear papal insignia or regalia, such as a crozier, a silver staff with a cross, or a pallium, a cloth band worn around the neck. Worn by archdiocesan bishops.

Both were at the body of Pope John Paul when it lay in state in 2005.

Lire Aussi :  World Darts Championship: Gerwyn Price suffers shock 5-1 defeat to Gabriel Clemens at Alexandra Palace | Darts News

It was not clear whether the priest’s cross or any other items he had used would be buried with him, but the decision was made not to place them on public view to mark when he died. When he left, he was no longer Pope.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said Benedict would be buried, as he wished, under St. Peter’s Basilica in the same spot where Pope John Paul II was originally buried in 2005 before his body was exhumed in 2011. I was transferred to a chapel in the basilica.

The leaders of Italy paid their respects.

Before the church was opened to the public, Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni were the first outsiders to pay their respects.

Benedict’s closest aide, Archbishop Georges Gansvain, sat at the side of the body along with Benedict’s family and medical professionals who cared for him in his final days.

After a few hours, he got up to pray in front of the deceased. Ganswein stayed behind to receive condolences from the pilgrims.

Lire Aussi :  Kansas residents hold their noses as crews mop up massive U.S. oil spill

“I had to come,” Sari, a woman visiting from Jakarta, Indonesia, told Reuters. “He was the Pope and I’m a Catholic,” she said, declining to give her last name.

Benedict will lie in state until Wednesday evening. His funeral will be held on Thursday in St. Peter’s Square and will be presided over by Pope Francis. The Vatican has said it will be a simple, dignified and dignified ceremony, in keeping with Benedict’s wishes.

The Vatican painstakingly has elaborate rituals for what happens after the death of a pope but none for ex-popes, so what happens over the next few days could serve as a model for future ex-popes. .

Bruni said the details of the funeral gathering have not yet been finalized.

While the number of pilgrims was high, there were no signs of the huge crowds that came to pay their respects to Pope John Paul II, when millions waited for hours to enter the basilica.

Reporting by Philip Pullela, Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Nick McPhee

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

Back to top button