STARTING today, January 2, the public will be able to visit the remains of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI as the Vatican City sets the wake for the late pontiff until Thursday, January 5.
The body of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is kept in the “Mater Ecclesiae” monastery in the Vatican City State prior to the public viewing.
The public will be able to visit the body of the Pope Emeritus in St. Peter’s Basilica from Monday at 9:00 a.m. and will continue until Thursday morning, according to the Vatican News.
At the Sunday New Year’s Day mass, Pope Francis described the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVII as “beloved” Benedict XVI, the Agence France-Presse reported.
The Vatican also unveiled the first images of the former pontiff following his passing.
In his last letter published last Saturday, the former pope apologized to anyone he had “wronged in any way.”
The retired pontiff was accused of failing to properly handle at least four allegations of clerical sexual abuse while serving as the archbishop of Munich in an investigation ordered by the archdiocese in 2022. Although Benedict denied any fault in the cases, he begged for pardon for how he handled them.
He likewise lettered to all the faithful Catholics who had entrusted to his leadership as the head of the Church to “stand firm in faith.”
“I humbly ask: Pray for me that the Lord will admit me into the eternal mansions in spite of all my sins and shortcomings. My heartfelt prayer goes out to all those entrusted to me, day after day,” said Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Pope Benedict XVI served as the Head of the Church and the Vatican City State from April 19, 2005, until he resigned on February 28, 2013.
He was succeeded by Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now known as Pope Francis.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was elected the 264th successor of Saint Peter on April 18, 2005, and he adopted the name Benedict XVI for himself after being given the position.
During his time as pontiff, he displeased some sectors for his stringent stances on several aspects of Catholicism and controversial topics such as birth control and homosexuality.
In 2013, he was the first pope in the history of the Catholic Church to resign in 600 years, citing old age and health concerns.
Banner Photo Credit: Vatican News