Pope Francis will preside on Thursday, January 5 at 9:30 in Rome (5:30 in Argentina) in Saint Peter’s Square at the funeral of the emeritus pope Benedict XVI, who died at the age of 95, the Vatican reported.
“On Thursday, January 5 at 9:30 a.m. in Saint Peter’s Square, the funeral will be presided over by Pope Francis,” the director of the Holy See’s Press Office, Matteo Bruni, announced this Saturday in a meeting with journalists at the Vatican.
The spokesman also reported that the pope emeritus had received extreme rites last Wednesday, given the serious state of health in which he was, and regarding the funerals he said that Joseph Ratzinger himself – the original name of the ex-pontiff – asked that they be ” solemn but under the sign of simplicity”.
Benedict XVI died this Saturday at 9:34 local time in the Matter Ecclesia monastery, where he lived within the Vatican gardens after his resignation from the pontificate in 2013.
The body of the pope emeritus will be exposed in St. Peter’s Basilica from Monday morning, the 2nd, “for the greeting of the faithful,” Bruni added.
As soon as the death of Benedict XVI was known, communicated by the Vatican almost an hour later, the bells of the Basilica of San Pedro rang as a farewell and the entrance to the so-called Bronze Gate, on one of the sides of the Plaza, was closed. as a sign of mourning.
In Saint Peter’s Square, meanwhile, hundreds of tourists lined up to enter the Vatican Basilica in the middle of the “little summer” that Rome has felt for ten days with unusual maximum temperatures of 18 degrees and that shows the Italian capital with a number of of visitors similar to pre-pandemic levels.