Tens of thousands of people were present in St. Peter’s Square for the funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, a leading theologian of the 20th century and the first pope to resign from office in nearly 600 years.
The funeral Mass was simple and solemn, in accord with Benedict XVI’s wishes.
Royalty, cardinals, patriarchs, government officials, and many Catholic families and religious attended the funeral today, Thursday at the Vatican. More than 3,700 priests concelebrated the Mass.
Pope Francis presided over the funeral for his predecessor. In his homily, Francis reflected on Jesus’ final words on the cross: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”
“God’s faithful people, gathered here, now accompany and entrust to him the life of the one who was their pastor,” he said.
The Vatican says the remains of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI have been interred in a tomb in the grottoes under the main floor of St. Peter’s Basilica.