Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI body lying in state at Vatican

02:26 PM Jan 02, 2023 | PTI |

Vatican City: Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s body is lying in state in St. Peter’s Basilica as thousands of people lined up hours before dawn on Monday to pay their respects.


The doors of the basilica were swung open so the public, some who had waited for hours in the dampness before dawn, could pay their respects to the late pontiff, who shocked the world in 2013 by retiring from the papacy, the first to do so in 600 years.

The frail, 95-year-old Benedict died Saturday morning in the Vatican monastery where he had lived since his retirement in 2013, when he became the first pontiff to resign in 600 years.

Filippo Tuccio, 35, came from Venice on an overnight train to view Benedict’s body.

“I wanted to pay homage to Benedict because he had a key role in my life and my education. I arrived here at around 7:30, after leaving Venice last night,” Tuccio said.


“When I was young I participated in World Youth Days,″ said the pilgrim, referring to the jamborees of young faithful held periodically and attended by pontiffs. Tuccio added that he had studied theology, and “his pontificate accompanied me during my university years.”

“He was very important for me: for what I am, my way of thinking, my values. This is why I wanted to say goodbye today.”

Public viewing lasts for 10 hours on Monday in St. Peter’s Basilica. Twelve hours of viewing are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday before Thursday morning’s funeral, which will be led by Pope Francis, at St. Peter’s Square.

Security officials expected at least 25,000 people to pass by the body on the first day of viewing.



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