65,000 view Benedict XVI’s body lying in state at Vatican

Vatican City (AP) — Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI His body rested on a crimson pillow in St. Peter’s Basilica on Monday as tens of thousands lined up to pay tribute to the pope who shocked the world with his retirement. I was lying in a state of being Ten years ago.

On the eve of the first three days of spectators, Italian security officials said at least 25,000-30,000 people would come on Monday. But by the end of the first day’s viewing, about 65,000 people passed by Beer, according to the Vatican.

At dusk, ten white-gloved papal gentlemen — the general assistants of the Pope and the Pope’s family — arrived at the cathedral to carry the bodies on cloth-covered wooden stretchers, carrying Bernini’s towering bronze statues. It was placed in front of the main altar under the canopy of the .

A Swiss Guard salutes Benedict’s body as it is transported through a side door after it has been vanned from the chapel on the monastery grounds. Saturday morning.

His longtime secretary, Archbishop Georg Genswein, and a handful of consecrated congregations who served in Benedict’s house followed the van on foot in a silent march a few hundred yards toward the Basilica. Some reached out and respectfully touched their bodies.

Before the lay faithful entered the cathedral, a prayer was recited, the cathedral’s archbishop, Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, sprinkled his body with holy water, and a small cloud of incense was released near the coffin. Benedict’s hands were clenched and a rosary wrapped around his fingers.

Shortly after 9:00 am (0800 GMT), the doors of the cathedral were flung open, allowing the public, who had waited for hours in the pre-dawn humidity, to pay their respects to the late retired pope. I was. 2013 — Pope for the first time in 600 years.

Loyal and curious people waited in lines that meander through St. Peter’s Square in the morning before striding down the central aisle to pass by beer draped in cloth.

Benedict’s body was clad in a miter, a bishop’s pointed hat, and a red cloak.

Filippo Tuccio, 35, said he had traveled by sleeper train from Venice to see Benedict’s body.

“I wanted to pay tribute to Benedict because he played an important role in my life and education,” said Tuccio.

“When I was younger, I attended World Youth Day,” he said, referring to the Jamboree of Young Believers that is held regularly and attended by the Pope. Tuccio had studied theology and added, “His Pope accompanied me during my college years.”

“He was very important to me. To who I am, to my way of thinking, to my values,” continued Tuccio.

Among those who visited the cathedral was the German theologian Benedict-like Cardinal Walter Kasper. Kasper served as director of the Vatican’s Office of Christian Unity during the Pope of Benedict.

Not only did Benedict leave an “important mark” on theology and spirituality, but he also left an “important mark” on papal history, Kaspar told the Associated Press.

“This resignation was not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength, a sign of greatness.

Kasper, one of the Cardinals who elected Benedict to the pontiff in 2005, said his resignation “provided the Pope with a more human vision that the Pope is a man and depends on his physical and mental strength.” I gave,” he added.

Public viewings are scheduled for 10 hours on Monday and 12 hours each on Tuesday and Wednesday, after which Pope Francis will hold the funeral service in St. Peter’s Square on Thursday morning.

As Benedict had hoped, the funeral will be characterized as simple, the Vatican said Saturday when it announced the death.

Monday workers had set up an altar in the square for the funeral Mass. Rows of chairs were also laid out for believers who wanted to attend the funeral. He said he expected 60,000 people to come.

On Monday, the Vatican confirmed a widely reported burial plan. According to Vatican spokesman Matteo, in line with his wishes, Benedict’s tomb will be placed in the crypt of a cave beneath the basilica last used by St. John his Paul II. Bruni said.

On either side of the colonnade of the square, viewers passed through the usual security measures required of tourists entering the basilica.

Marina Ferrante, 62, was among them.

“I think his main legacy was that he taught us how to be free,” she said. “He had a special intelligence in saying things that were essential to his faith, which was contagious to other believers”. I wanted to be.”

Venturing into being a shy, bookworm German clergyman and theologian with a different temperament than the current Argentinian-born pope, Ferrante remarks: “

An American man living in Rome called the opportunity to see the bodies “a wonderful experience.” Mountain Butrac, 47, from Atlanta, said he arrived 90 minutes before dawn.

“I loved Benedict. I loved him as a cardinal (Joseph Ratzinger) when he was elected pope and after he retired,” Butrac said. “I think he was like a grandfather to the people in the Vatican.”

Against the backdrop of a soft playing of “Kyrie Eleison” (“Lord, have mercy” in ancient Greek) by an organ and choir, ushers moved Service-to-Others with stable clips down the central aisle of the cathedral Somebody put a red rose.

There were moments when several VIPs paid their respects in front of the general public, including Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, a far-right leader who has in the past professed admiration for Benedict’s conservative leanings.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella also came to see the corpse. The Vatican said that since the Pope Emeritus is no longer head of state, only official delegations of his two countries, Italy and Benedict’s native Germany, were formally invited to the funeral.

Sister Regina Bland was among the mourners who came to the square before dawn.

“He’s the Pope of Germany and I’m from Germany,” she said. “And I am here to express my gratitude and love. I pray for him and I miss him.”


Trisha Thomas and Nicole Winfield contributed to this report.


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