A gathered crowd enters St Peters Basilica to greet Benedict

A gathered crowd enters St. Peter’s Basilica to greet Benedict XVI. to pay homage Vatican News English

The transfer of the remains of the Pope Emeritus took place early Monday, January 2, in a private ceremony. The body of Benedict XVI. is now on display in St. Peter’s Basilica for three days. All believers who wish can come and pay their last respects to the late Pope. From the early hours of the morning there were already many.

Adelaide Patrignani – Vatican City (updated 02/01/2023 at 15:15)

It’s barely ten in the morning and people are already thronging to the Place Saint-Pierre. The line, dense, meanders across the entire Esplanade, under a gray sky and in a suddenly more wintry air. There are the tourists who spent New Year’s Eve in Rome and the pilgrims who came to Rome because of Benedict XVI. came. Among them Adeline from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She came to “mourn the Pope” and to greet him whom she never met in her lifetime, but who marked her with his spiritual greatness.

This unequal crowd flows quietly to St. Peter’s Basilica. Many nuns and priests, of course, made the journey, as did Father Franks. A native of the Diocese of Montreal, Canada, he thanks the German Pope Emeritus for teaching him to witness his faith with “joy” and “sincerity.”

Benedict XVI is also the Pope who accompanied a whole generation of young Catholics. Those of the JMJ in Cologne, Sydney or Madrid … or a little younger, like Anne, 26, from Paris, who had an audience with Benedict XVI as a child. will never be forgotten.

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prayers under the dome

After the time of memories time for meditation. The faithful enter St. Peter’s Basilica through the central door and then proceed to the main altar known as “the Confession”. The body of Benedict XVI, clad in a miter and red chasuble, rests on a catafalque. Two Swiss Guards surround him, holding onto their halberds. We quickly pass, cross ourselves or take a last look at Pope Ratzinger. Posted at the wooden barriers, the guards ask the pilgrims not to stop. Between 30 and 35,000 people are expected every day until Thursday, but as of 2 p.m. this Monday, 40,000 believers have already come, according to the Vatican Gendarmerie; In the morning, the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, made his way, followed shortly afterwards by the President of the Council, Giorgia Meloni.

A funeral mass is celebrated behind the canopy, at the altar of the chair. Far removed from the usual hustle and bustle of visitors, there is a prayerful atmosphere under the dome. Many people crowd silently in front of the side chapels and in front of the nativity scene, or remain facing the remains, a little apart… The late Pope has lived a secluded life for ten years. Did we forget? He still seems very close in the hearts of those who greet him.

Dawn body transfer

Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, Archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica, presided over the rite of translation of the remains of Benedict XVI this morning, which took place from 7:15 a.m. to 7:40 a.m. The body of the Pope Emeritus left the Mater Ecclesiae — the monastery in the Vatican Gardens that Joseph Ratzinger chose as his residence after renouncing the Seat of Peter in 2013 — to reach St. Peter’s Basilica by passing through the prayer gate. Bishop Georg Gänswein, Benedict XVI’s private secretary, the nuns Memores Domini who accompanied him over the years, and a small group of relatives accompanied him on the procession.

Translation of the body of Benedict XVI, January 2, 2023

Yesterday, Sunday, January 1st, the remains of the late Pope rested in the chapel of the monastery. Cardinals, bishops and hundreds of people from the Roman Curia were able to go there for private meditation until the evening.

The funeral of Benedict XVI. will be celebrated by Pope Francis on Thursday 5 January at 9:30 a.m. in Place Saint-Pierre. According to the Prefect of Rome, Bruno Frattasi, between 50,000 and 60,000 believers are expected.

Pope Ratzinger will then be buried in the Vatican caves, in the tomb where Saint John Paul II was previously buried – until his beatification in 2011 – confirmed January 2 Matteo Bruni, director of the press office of the Holy Headquarters.

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