Pope Francis paid tribute to his father before Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday, in a funeral attended by tens of thousands of mourners in St.
The funeral marked the first time in modern times that a pontiff has conducted the funeral of his predecessor. Benedict, the first pontiff in nearly 600 years to abdicate rather than hold office for life, died at the age of 95 on December 31 at a church in Vatican City.
It was a project that was seen by simplicity, according to the wishes of the previous pope. “It is difficult to do a simple service in St. Peter’s square, but I think it is,” said Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest, writer and editor, to Max Foster and Bianca CNN’s Nobilo on CNN Newsroom.
“You have to have authority and a convention for the previous pope, but I think within the guidelines of what Pope Emeritus Benedict wanted, it was very successful.”
About 50,000 people attended the funeral in St. Peter’s Square according to the spokesman of the Vatican Matteo Bruni, compared to 1.1 million people for the funeral of the person before Benedict, Pope John Paul II. 500,000 people in St.
John Paul II’s funeral was the largest gathering of heads of state outside the United Nations. Among the parties there are nine kings and 70 presidents and prime ministers.
In the six days between John Paul II’s death and his funeral, nearly 3 million people came to pay their last respects. Every hour, 21,000 people passed through St. Peter’s Church. The average wait to see the pope was 13 hours, and the line was as long as 3 miles.
Leaders and religious leaders gathered in the square on Thursday, which can accommodate up to 60,000 people, for the ceremony. Prime Minister Petr Fiala of the Czech Republic was among the attendees, according to CNN affiliate CNN Prima.
The meeting is the same as the current pope but with some changes. Benedict was named pope emeritus during the funeral, and some of the services took a different tone because he was not the reigning pope at the time of his death.
Francis began leading mass on Thursday morning, when he offered prayers at 10 a.m. local time (4 a.m. ET). Then the members of the crowd joined a Church.
“The faithful people of God, gathered here, are going together and giving him the life of the man who became their minister,” Francis said as he delivered the prayers
“Like the women at the tomb, we have come again with the fragrance of gratitude and the balm of hope, to show him again the love that never ends. We want to do this with wisdom, simplicity and truth that he has given us over the years. We want to say together: ‘My Father, we leave his spirit in your five
“Benedict, faithful friend of the Bridegroom, may your joy be full when you hear his voice, now and forever,” Francis said.
Benedict’s coffin will be taken through the Basilica and the Vatican cemetery for burial, in the first tomb of John Paul II.
The tomb was cleared after the body of John Paul II and the remains were moved to a chapel in the Basilica after his canonization.
During the burial during the rite, a worm is placed next to the coffin with the seals of the apostolic chamber, the pontifical house and liturgical celebrations. The cypress coffin is placed in a sealed zinc coffin, then placed in a wooden coffin and buried.
The meeting is scheduled to end at 11:15 am (5.15am ET).
High-profile dignitaries including Queen Sofia of Spain and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz are scheduled to attend the funeral, along with US Ambassador to the Holy See Joe Donelly.
Benedict was elected pope in April 2005 after the death of John Paul II. He was seen as a stronger successor to Pope Francis, who has worked to soften the Vatican’s stance on abortion and homosexuality, and to do more to address the problem of homosexuality that has plagued the church in recent years, it became dark. Benedict’s legacy.
The book placed in the coffin of Pope Benedict XVI is a biography of his life and mentions some of the most important moments of his career, which he remembers in the fight against pedophilia.
“He vigorously fought against the crimes committed by members of the clergy against minors or vulnerable people, and constantly called the Church to change, to pray, to repent and to be cleansed,” the book says.
His death drew tributes from political and religious leaders including US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the Dalai Lama.
About 200,000 mourners, including Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and President Sergio Mattarella, paid their respects to the former pontiff this week as he lay in state in St.
The public viewing of Benedict ended on Wednesday, before a liturgical ceremony during which gifts including coins and medals based on his work and a book on the pontificate were presented. in his sealed cypress coffin before the funeral.
Francis thanked him before a meeting at the Vatican on Wednesday.
“I want us to join those who are here with us in greeting Benedict XVI, and to turn my thoughts to him, a great expert on catechesis,” he said.
“May he help us to find again in Christ the joy of faith and the hope of life.”