100,000 mourners awaited Pope Benedict XVI

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

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

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

Crowds of grieving Catholics gathered in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican last night to prepare to bid farewell to the former Pope.

Benedict, who became the first pope to resign from office in 600 years, died at 9:34 a.m. on Saturday at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery.

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

Each day, around 30,000 devout Catholics are expected to pass through the basilica to see the late pope ahead of his “simple” funeral on Thursday, to be led by current Pope Francis.

The former pope’s body was dressed in preparation with a miter, a bishop’s headgear, and a red cloak-like robe. 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 queuing to see the Pope lying in state (Image: REUTERS)

A general view as a 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 outside St. Peter’s Basilica overnight (Image: 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 attend (Image: REUTERS)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Vatican Media/ANSA via ZUMA Press/Shutterstock (13690960f) The body of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) on display in the chapel of the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in Vatican City, January 1, 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, which he has chosen as his favorite shoes since his retirement as Pope. This emerges from the photos published by the Vatican press office. In the chapel, the body is placed in front of the altar between the manger and the Christmas tree. ANSA/VATICAN MEDIA. The body of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, VATICAN CITY - January 01, 2023

Pope Benedict XVI will wear a red liturgical robe and have a miter on his head while lying in state (Image: Vatican Media/ANSA via ZUMA Press/Shutterstock)

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

It’s been an emotional few days for Catholics around the world (Image: Getty)

Visitors crowd into St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican on Sunday, January 1, 2023. Pope Benedict, the German theologian who will become the first pope to step down in 600 years, has died, the Vatican announced on Saturday, December 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

The Vatican saw thousands of mourners over the weekend (Image: 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 reportedly have a simple funeral (Image: REUTERS)

MORE: Pope Francis pays tribute to Benedict XVI calling his predecessor ‘noble’ and ‘kind’

MORE: Why is Pope Benedict XVI. resigned and did any other pope do it?

MORE : Former Pope Benedict dies aged 95 in Vatican City

Benedict’s funeral will be simple, the Vatican said, in line with the wishes of the former pope, who, as a German cardinal, had served for decades as the guardian of the church’s Orthodox doctrine before being elected pope in 2005.

A number of world leaders have recognized the legacy of d. Benedict, 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 spokesman for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales confirmed that Catholics across the UK will pray for Benedict on Sunday.

Its General Secretary, Reverend Canon Chris Thomas, said: “We encourage Catholics in England and Wales to support Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. into their prayers.”

Benedict became the second pope in history to visit Britain in 2010, when he met the Queen and delivered a historic address at Westminster Hall.

From today his body will lie in St. Peter’s Basilica for the faithful to pay homage to.

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https://metro.co.uk/2023/01/02/100000-mourners-expected-to-see-pope-benedict-xvi-lying-in-state-18024290/ 100,000 mourners awaited Pope Benedict XVI

Justin Scacco

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