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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Death of Benedict XVI. The tomb of the retired pope is open to the public

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From 9 am on Sunday you can go down to the Vatican Grottoes and see the tomb of the retired Pope Benedict XVI. The opening of this place was announced on Saturday by the Holy See.

Benedict XVI, who died on December 31left buried on Thursday in the Vatican Grottoes in the place where earlier, from 1963 to 2000, the grave of St. John XXIII, and from 2005 to 2011 – St. John Paul II. The remains of both popes were transferred after their beatification to St. Peter’s Basilica.

Millions of believers have come to the tomb of the Polish pope over the last six years.


Benedict XVI chose this burial place before his resignation in 2013, and his will was later communicated Pope Francis.

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The faithful pray at the tomb of retired Pope Benedict XVI in the Vatican GrottoesPAP/EPA/ANGELO CARCONI

Three coffins

Joseph Ratzinger’s body was buried, according to tradition, in three coffins. The cypress coffin, at which the funeral mass took place in the morning, was sealed and closed in two more: zinc and wooden. Then the whole thing was placed in the grave.

Before the burial Matteo Bruni, spokesman the Vaticanexplained that in addition to the pope’s body, “into the first cypress box will be placed medals and coins minted during the pontificate, the bishop’s pallium [to element stroju, biała wełniana wstęga uszyta w formie koła – red.] and an act with a brief description of the pontificate in Latin. “This document will be placed in a metal tube,” he added.

The recording of this part of the funeral ceremony shows how seals are placed on the lid and how the lid of the second coffin is bonded. You can also see how the wooden lid of the last of the coffins is put on.

Laying the coffin with retired Pope Benedict XVIReuters

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/ANGELO CARCONI

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