Thousands pay homage as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI lies in state


The body of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. His head resting on a pair of red pillows. Lay in state Monday in St. Peter’s Basilica as thousands paid. Their respects to the pope who shocked the world by retiring a decade ago.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI lies in state

As daylight broke, 10 white-gloved papal gentlemen. – Aides to the pope and the papal family. – Carried the body on a cloth-covered wooden stretcher from the center. Aisle of the mammoth basilica to its resting place in front of Bernini’s high altar. Bronze canopy

A Swiss guard saluted the remains of Benedict in a van from the monastery chapel. Where the frail, 95-year-old former pope died on Saturday morning.

His longtime secretary, Archbishop Georg Gainswein. And a handful of holy women serving in Benedict’s household followed. The van on foot in a silent procession to the basilica.

after 9 a.m. (3 a.m. ET), the basilica’s doors were thrown open so the public. Some who had waited in the damp pre-dawn hours. Could pay their respects to the late pope, who retired from the papacy in 2013, the first to do so in 600 years. Became the first Pope.

Loyal and curious, the public rushes past. The beer after waiting in a line to snake around St. Peter’s Square at midday.

Filippo Tuccio, 35, arrived by overnight train from Venice to view Benedict’s body.

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

Thousands of people paid their respects

“When I was young I participated in World Youth Day.” The pilgrim said, noting that jamborees of the young faithful are held. And attended by pontiffs. Tuccio added that he studied theology. And “his pontificate was with me during my university years.”

“He was very important to me: to who I am, to my thoughts, to my values. That’s why I wanted to say goodbye today.”

Monday’s public visitation at St. Peter’s Basilica lasts 10 hours. Twelve hours of vigils are scheduled for Tuesday. And Wednesday before a Thursday morning funeral led by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square.

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

Among them was 62-year-old Marina Ferrante. Roman arrived an hour before the doors opened, and became emotional as he explained why he had come.

“I think his main legacy was teaching us how to be free,” he said. He had a special knack for telling other believers. “What was essential and contagious in his faith.” “The thing I thought about when he died was that I wanted to be as independent as he was.

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