Pilgrims Throng St. Peter’s Square for Benedict’s Funeral Mass| National Catholic Register

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

‘Danke Papst Benedikt’ and ‘Santo Subito’ Banners Wave in St. Peter’s Square

Pope Francis presides over the solemn funeral Mass of Pope Benedict XVI Jan. 5, 2023.
Pope Francis presides over the solemn funeral Mass of Pope Benedict XVI Jan. 5, 2023. (photo: Vatican Media)

Edward Pentin VaticanJanuary 5, 2023

VATICAN CITY — Fog that had descended on Rome early this morning, obscuring the cupola of St. Peter’s Basilica, began to slowly lift as pallbearers carried Pope Benedict XVI’s simple cypress coffin into St. Peter’s Square to long and moving applause. 

Cardinals attend the funeral Mass of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Cardinals attend the funeral Mass of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.Vatican Media

An estimated 50,000 mourners had gathered in the square, some camping out overnight, to say their final farewell to the beloved pontiff, who died aged 95 on Dec. 31, the feast of Pope St. Sylvester.

Cardinals attend the funeral Mass of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Benedict’s coffin is shown with thousands of pilgrims in attendance at his funeral Mass. Vatican Media

Bavarian and German flags with the words Danke Papst Benedikt! and Santo Subito fluttered in the mist as the mourning bells of St. Peter’s tolled. The faithful collectively recited the Rosary for the soul of Benedict in an atmosphere of recollection, reverence and prayer. 

After being solemnly carried into the square through the front of the basilica, the coffin was laid to rest on a red carpet at the foot of the altar, with a book of the Gospels placed on top. Benedict’s long-serving personal secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, then bowed down to kiss the coffin before taking his seat in the front row, along with those closest to Benedict, including consecrated Memores Domini laywomen who cared for him for many years. 

Cardinals attend the funeral Mass of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Archbishop Georg Ganswein kisses the coffin of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Vatican Media

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Pilgrims Throng St. Peter’s Square for Benedict’s Funeral Mass| National Catholic Register

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