100,000 mourners expected to see Pope Benedict XVI lying in state


The former Pope will be lying in state from today and thousands of people are expected to pay tribute (Picture: EPA / Getty / REX

The former Pope will be lying in state from today and thousands of people are expected to pay tribute (Picture: EPA / Getty / REX

Almost 100,000 people are expected to pass through St Peter’s Basilica over the next three days to pay their respects to the late Pope Benedict XVI.

Crowds of mourning Catholics gathered in St Peter’s Square in the Vatican last night to prepare to say goodbye to the former Pope.

Benedict, who was the first Pope in 600 years to resign from the role, died in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery at 9.34am on Saturday.

He will be lying in state for mourners to pay their respects from today.

Each day around 30,000 devout Catholics are expected to walk through the Basilica to see the late Pope before his ‘simple’ funeral on Thursday that will be led by the current Pope Francis.

The former pope’s body has been dressed in a mitre, the headgear of a bishop, and a red cloak-like vestment in preparation. A rosary was placed in his hand.

Faithful queue to enter St. Peter???s Basilica to pay homage to former Pope Benedict at the Vatican, January 2, 2023. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca

People are already queueing to see the Pope lying in state (Picture: REUTERS)

A general view as faithful queue to enter St. Peter???s Basilica to pay homage to former Pope Benedict at the Vatican, January 2, 2023. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca

People waited overnight outside of St Peter’s Basillica (Picture: REUTERS)

Faithful queue to enter St.Peter???s Basilica to pay homage to former Pope Benedict at the Vatican, January 2, 2023. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Around 100,000 people are expected to visit him (Picture: REUTERS)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Vatican Media/ANSA via ZUMA Press/Shutterstock (13690960f) The corpse of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) exhibited in the chapel of the Mater Ecclesiae monastery at the Vatican City, 01 January 2023. Pope Benedict XVI wears red liturgical vestments and has a miter on his head. In his hands he has a rosary. He wears the shoes instead of the comfortable sandals he had chosen as his favorite footwear since he became Pope Emeritus. This is what can be seen from the photographs released by the Vatican press office. Inside the chapel, the body is placed in front of the altar, between the crib and the Christmas tree..ANSA/VATICAN MEDIA. The corpse of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, VATICAN CITY - 01 Jan 2023

Pope Benedict XVI will be wearing a red liturgical vestments and has a miter on his head as he lies in state (Picture: Vatican Media/ANSA via ZUMA Press/Shutterstock)

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - JANUARY 01: Faithful gather in St. Peter's Square to attend the Pope Francis Sunday Angelus blessing, following the announcement of the death of former Pope Benedict XVI, on January 1, 2023 in Vatican City, Vatican. Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger was born in Marktl, Bavaria, Germany in 1927. He became Pope Benedict XVI, serving as head of the Catholic Church and the sovereign of the Vatican City State from 19 April 2005 until his resignation, due to ill health, on 28 February 2013. He succeeded Pope John Paul II and was succeeded by the current Pope Francis. He died on 31 December 2022 aged 95 at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in Vatican City. (Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)

It has been an emotional few days for Catholics around the world (Picture: Getty)

Visitors crowd St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan.1, 2023. Pope Benedict, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

The Vatican has seen thousands of mourners over the weekend Picture: AP)

Nuns walk near St. Peter???s Basilica as people queue to pay homage to former Pope Benedict at the Vatican, January 2, 2023. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca

The former Pope will have a simple funeral it has been reported (Picture: REUTERS)


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Benedict’s funeral will be a simple one, the Vatican has said, in keeping with the wishes of the former pope, who for decades as a German cardinal had served as the Church’s guardian of doctrinal orthodoxy before he was elected pope in 2005.

A number of world leaders paid tribute to d Benedict’s legacy, with King Charles expressing his ‘deep sadness’.

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, also paid their respects.

A spokesperson for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales confirmed that Catholics up and down the UK will be praying for Benedict on Sunday.

Its general secretary, the Reverend Canon Chris Thomas, said: ‘We encourage Catholics in England and Wales to keep Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in their prayers.’

Benedict became the second pontiff in history to visit the UK in 2010 when he met the Queen and made a historic address at Westminster Hall.

From today, his body will be in Saint Peter’s Basilica so the worshippers can pay their respects.

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