Vatican: Pope Benedict’s last words are revealed by his close associate

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Benedict was not yet in his last moments, and at that time his associates and assistants took turns in his care

The last words of the ex Pope Benedict XVI, who died on New Year’s Eve at the age of 95, a close associate reveals to Vatican News.

Benedict’s last words were heard in the middle of the night by a nurse. It was around 3am on December 31st, several hours before he died. To the world, Joseph Ratchinger was not yet in his last moments, and at that time his associates and assistants took turns in his care. With him at that time was only a nurse who did not speak German. “Benedict XVI”, recounts his secretary emotionally charged, Archbishop Georg Genswein, “in a whisper, but in a clearly distinct manner, he said in Italian: ‘Lord, I love you!’ I wasn’t there at the time, but the nurse told me a little later. These were his last intelligible words, because after that he could no longer express himself,” he says characteristically.

“Lord, I love you!”are words that look like a synthesis of the life of Joseph Ratzinger, who for years now was preparing for his final, face-to-face meeting with his Creator” comments the Vatican News.

Crowds of people flock from the morning to St. Peter’s Basilica, in the Vatican, where from this morning – and until Wednesday evening – the body of Benedict is exposed for popular pilgrimage.

Scenes of pilgrims entering St. Peter’s Basilica to pay their respects to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. pic.twitter.com/nvY3zIHLCl

— Vatican News (@VaticanNews) January 2, 2023

A queue of 10,000 people has already formed, while there are already 1,000 police officers and over 500 volunteers in the area of ​​St. Peter’s Square, for the regulation of practical matters, such as the orderly gathering of believers and the observance of all safety rules.

Pope Benedict's funeral

On Thursday morning, the funeral will be held, presided over by Pope Francis.

Pope emeritus Benedict XVI will be buried in the red vestments of a pope, but his death did not follow official Vatican protocol as he was not an active pontiff.

Pope Benedict's funeral

On February 28, 2013, Benedict officially resigned as pontiff, causing enormous surprise to faithful Catholics and beyond. The reason for this decision, as he himself underlined, was his health problems, which had worsened. After the election of Francis, Benedict was named “pontiff emeritus of the Roman Catholic Church.”

According to the AP, for the same reasons, when he died, official protocol was not followed, meaning that the bells of St. Peter’s Basilica were not rung, no official announcement was made to the faithful in the square, and there were no official invitations.

Pope Benedict's funeral

Former Pope Benedict will be buried on January 5 in a crypt at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The funeral will be low-key, in keeping with his wishes for “simplicity,” but also making clear that his status as an emeritus does not merit papal pomp, the Associated Press reports.

Pope Benedict's funeral

The Vatican has officially invited only Italy and France and advised that any other foreign leader or official who wishes to attend can do so but in his “private capacity”.

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