Thousands of People Go to the Vatican for Pope Benedict’s Burial

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Last Updated on January 5, 2023 by Bitfinsider

Thousands of people gathered at the Vatican on Thursday for the burial of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, a conservative icon who startled the Catholic church by resigning a decade ago.

Mourners in black flooded into St. Peter’s Square before the Mass, which began at 9:30 a.m. local time (3:30 a.m. EST). Pope Francis presided over the occasion, which was unusual in modern times, with a living pontiff conducting the farewell to his predecessor.

In his sermon, Francis acknowledged Benedict but did not linger on his specific legacy, simply mentioning him once, in the final phrase.

“God’s loyal people, assembled here, now accompanies and entrusts to him the life of the one who was their pastor. We have come, like the ladies at the grave, with the fragrance of appreciation and the salve of hope, to show him the everlasting love. “We want to do it with the same knowledge, love, and devotion that he has shown us over the years,” Francis remarked in his homily.

In addition to English, prayers were performed in German, French, Arabic, Portuguese, and Italian.

As Benedict’s cypress casket was being carried into St Peter’s Basilica, Francis placed his hand on his breast and bowed to the late Pope. The throng applauded and cheered as the casket was led away from the square.

The body of the Pope was put in a simple wood casket. Following the funeral service, the coffin was returned to the basilica and encased in zinc before being sealed in a second wooden casket.

Benedict will be buried in the underground Vatican grottoes, in the niche where Pope John XXIII and subsequently Pope John Paul II were placed until their bones were moved to more prominent positions in the basilica above, at his request.

The Vatican declared that a written chronicle of the pope’s life will be buried alongside him in his casket. His theology and papal legacy were noted in the declaration, including his outreach to Anglicans and Jews, as well as his attempts to combat clerical sexual abuse by “constantly summoning the church to conversion, prayer, penance, and purification.”

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