Pope Emeritus Benedict XVIwere his last words”Lord I love youhis longtime secretary said Sunday, citing a nurse who helped care for the 95-year-old former pope in his last hours.
Archbishop Georg Genswein, a German bishop who lived in the Vatican monastery where Benedict resided after retiring in 2013, said the nurse recounted hearing Benedict speak. Those words at about 3 a.m. on Saturday. The retired Pope died later that morning.
Benedict XVI, whispered But in a very characteristic way, it was said in Italian, “Lord, I love you,” Genswein told official Vatican media, adding that it was when aides seeking Benedict were changing shifts.
“I wasn’t there at that moment,” said the archbishop, “but the nurse recounted it a little later.”These were his last words that could be understoodBecause after that he could no longer express himself.
Gaenswein did not identify the nurse who shared the information.
Earlier, the Vatican said Pope Francis went to pay his respects as soon as Gensoin called to inform him Benedict dies shortly after 9:30 am. Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said Saturday that Francis stayed at the Benedictine monastery for some time before returning to his residence at a hotel across the Vatican Gardens.
During New Year’s Day remarks on Sunday, Francis prayed for his predecessor to go to heaven He thanked Benedict for his life’s work in the service of the Church.
Francis left briefly from reading his homily during morning mass in St. Peter’s Basilica to pray aloud to Benedict. “Today we entrust our blessed mother, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, to accompany him on his journey from this world to God,” he said. It is slated to host the basilica Benedict’s coffin for three days From watching it starts on Monday.
Rome Prefect Bruno Fratasci, an interior ministry official, told Italian state television that mourners were expected to “at least 25,000, 30,000” in front of the sarcophagus on Monday.
On Sunday, Benedict’s body rested on a burgundy altar In the monastery chapel Where he lived through his retirement, which lasted nearly a decade. He wore gauntlets, a bishop’s cap, and a red mantle-like garment.
He put a rosary in his hand. Behind him, visible in the photos he posted VaticanChurch altar and decorated Christmas tree.
Benedict XVI, the first pope to resign in 600 years
He remembered Francis Benedict again later on Sunday while addressing thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square. He told the audience, “In these hours, We pray her intercessionand in particular Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who departed from this world yesterday morning.”
“Let us all unite, With one heart and one soulTo thank God for the gift of this faithful servant of the Gospel and the Church,” Francis said, speaking from the window of the Apostolic Palace to pilgrims and tourists below.
The square will be the venue for Benedict’s funeral, led by Francis, on Thursday morning. The Vatican said the service would be simple, in keeping with Benedict’s wishes. Before being elected Pope in 2005, Benedict was a German Cardinal who served as regent of the Church doctrinal belief.
In recent years, Francis has paid tribute to Benedict’s amazing decision to become a priest The first pope to resign in 600 years He made it clear that he would consider such a step as an option for himself.
Francis, 86, who has been hampered by knee pain, arrived Sunday at church in a wheelchair and took his place in a chair to attend Mass, which the Vatican’s foreign minister was celebrating.
Francis, who has repeatedly decried the war in Ukraine and its devastation, recalled the war victims who spent the year-end holidays in darkness, cold and fear.
At the beginning of this year, We need hope“Just as the earth needs rain,” Francis said in his sermon.
Addressing the faithful in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope referred to the “unbearable” war in Ukraine, which began more than 10 months ago, and conflicts elsewhere in the world. However, Francis said:Let’s not lose hopeMay peace prevail.