All eyes of the Catholic world will be on Rome this week, as we mourn the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Of course the word mourn is not necessarily the right word, since as Catholic Christians we believe that he has simply passed on to eternal life.
For those who have seen him in person, as we have…..it is an experience hard to describe. He looked at you as if you were the only person there in a crowd of thousands! And his profound teachings have helped many to grow in their faith. He will lie in state in Saint Peter’s Basilica according to the following schedule (all times are local):
Monday January 2nd and Tuesday January 3rd from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (09:00-19:00)
Wednesday January 4th from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm (07:00-19:00)
Funeral Mass will be held Thursday January 5th at 9:30 am (09:30) in Saint Peters Square
No tickets are required for admission to any of these events.
His interment will follow. Per his wishes, he will be interred in the grotto of Saint Peters (known as the Necropolis) in the same tomb where Pope John Paul II’s body was laid before being moved to its current resting place in the Chapel of Saint Sebastian (the second chapel on the right as you enter the Basilica). The tomb where Benedict XVI will be laid is less that 100 feet from the tomb of Saint Peter.