Thousands of faithful gather in front of St Peters Basilica

Thousands of faithful gather in front of St. Peter’s Basilica to say hello to Benedict XVI. Say goodbye to

The Pope Emeritus died on Saturday 31st; Wake started this Monday and will be open to the public through Wednesday

ANDREAS SOLARO / AFPFuneral of Pope Benedict XVI  (1)
The funeral of Benedict XVI. started this Monday, Feb

Thousands of believers line up in front of the Brasília de São Pedro to bid them farewell Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus without office who died on Saturday 31st at the age of 95. The vigil that began this Monday 2nd is taking place in the burial chapel installed in St. Peter’s Basilica Vatican. The long line reached the vast St. Peter’s Square and surrounded Bernini’s famous columns, guarded by a vital security device and also by hundreds of journalists from around the world covering the Pope’s funeral. Officials are also on their way to say goodbye. Among the first to arrive were the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, and the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella. The authorities of pomegranate It is estimated that around 30,000 people will visit the chapel every day.

The body of the first German pope of modern times was transferred at dawn from the small private chapel of the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, where he had resided in the Vatican Gardens since his resignation in 2013, to the basilica at a private ceremony, the advisor to the Vatican press said. The doors of the huge basilica will remain open to the public this Monday from 09:00 (5:00 in Brasilia) to 19:00 (15:00 in Brasilia). On Tuesday and Wednesday, the visit takes place from 3:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (both Brasilia time). Access is free and possible without prior registration, as the Vatican announced. On Thursday 5th Pope Francis, the Benedict XVI. has already publicly acknowledged him several times, will lead the funeral of the Pope Emeritus on the huge St. Peter’s Square. With this act ends the saga of the “two popes”, the two dressed in white who lived together for almost a decade in the smallest country in the world.

Funeral of Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. died December 31 │Handout / VATICAN MEDIA / AFP

Unlike the funerals of other popes, Benedict XVI. give no special protocol, since he resigned in 2013 and was classified as Pope Emeritus, i.e. without a function. However, it was decided to take some of the steps to be taken in the event of the death of a sitting pope. This is the first time in history that a pope has presided over the funeral of his predecessor. Benedict XVI, the German pope who ruled from 2005 to 2013, was not so popular and was accused in early 2022 of covering for four pedophile priests when he was archbishop in Germany. A blemish that stained his papacy and which he denied to the end of his life. Despite this, he is honored by high authorities and believers. At the end of the ceremony, the coffin of the pope emeritus will be interred in the Vatican’s grottoes beneath St. Peter’s Basilica, where the tombs of the popes are located, the Vatican said in a statement.

*With information from AFP