Body of Benedict XVI laid out in an open coffin in St. Peter’s Basilica

Since Monday morning, believers in St. Peter’s Basilica have been invited by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. saying goodbye. The former pontiff was publicly laid out there two days after his death. Shortly after 9 a.m., the doors of the great basilica in the Vatican opened. There were long queues in front of the church and the security checkpoints – some had been waiting since the middle of the night.

Benedict died on Saturday morning at the age of 95. He was then laid out in the chapel of the Vatican’s Mater Ecclesiae monastery, where he had lived for almost ten years after stepping down as pope in 2013. Friends and former companions prayed there at the body, including Benedict’s successor Francis.

Early Monday morning, the remains were taken the short way from the monastery to St. Peter’s Basilica in a minibus. Benedict is lying there in front of the large sanctuary. On the left and on the right is a member of the Swiss Guard, the historical bodyguard of the popes. The visitors are queuing in the aisle.

tis with DPA

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