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Public to pay their tribute to former Pope Benedict XVI

Public to pay their tribute to former Pope Benedict XVI

As the body of the late retired Pope Benedict XVI lies at the state in Vatican, thousands of mourners are expected to pay their last respects.

Pope Benedict XVI died at his Vatican residence, aged 95, almost a decade after he stood down because of poor health.

On December 28, 2022, Pope Francis asked pilgrims to pray for Pope Benedict XVI following his deteriorating health condition. He made the call at the end of his final audience of the year.

Pope Francis will preside over the funeral, which will be held on Thursday, according to BBC news.

At the time his death was announced by the Vatican, a long jam was already forming at the edge of St Peter’s Square.

His body will be displayed for three days in an open casket at St Peter’s Basilica, with people allowed to pay their respects until 7pm each evening.

The funeral will take place in St Peter’s Square, before the Pope Emeritus is laid to rest in the tombs beneath the Basilica.

The funeral will be ceremonial marked by simplicity; Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni told journalists.

Benedict XVI became the first Pope to resign in 600 years in 2013, citing ailing health.