Public now can see Benedict’s tomb at St. Peter’s Basilica

Jan 7, 2023, 11:12 AM | Updated: Jan 8, 2023, 4:06 am
Pope Francis delivers the Angelus noon prayer in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 8...

Pope Francis delivers the Angelus noon prayer in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

              Pope Francis delivers the Angelus noon prayer in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              Pope Francis delivers the Angelus noon prayer in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              Faithful visit the tomb of late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI inside the grottos of St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. Benedict died at 95 on Dec. 31 in the monastery on the Vatican grounds where he had spent nearly all of his decade in retirement, his days mainly devoted to prayer and reflection. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              Faithful pray in front of the tomb of late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI inside the grottos of St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. Benedict died at 95 on Dec. 31 in the monastery on the Vatican grounds where he had spent nearly all of his decade in retirement, his days mainly devoted to prayer and reflection. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              Faithful pray in front of the tomb of late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI inside the grottos of St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. Benedict died at 95 on Dec. 31 in the monastery on the Vatican grounds where he had spent nearly all of his decade in retirement, his days mainly devoted to prayer and reflection. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              The tomb of late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI inside the grottos of St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. Benedict died at 95 on Dec. 31 in the monastery on the Vatican grounds where he had spent nearly all of his decade in retirement, his days mainly devoted to prayer and reflection. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              The tomb of late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI inside the grottos of St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. Benedict died at 95 on Dec. 31 in the monastery on the Vatican grounds where he had spent nearly all of his decade in retirement, his days mainly devoted to prayer and reflection. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              The tomb of late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI inside the grottos of St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. Benedict died at 95 on Dec. 31 in the monastery on the Vatican grounds where he had spent nearly all of his decade in retirement, his days mainly devoted to prayer and reflection. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              The tomb of late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI inside the grottos of St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. Benedict died at 95 on Dec. 31 in the monastery on the Vatican grounds where he had spent nearly all of his decade in retirement, his days mainly devoted to prayer and reflection. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              The tomb of late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI inside the grottos of St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. Benedict died at 95 on Dec. 31 in the monastery on the Vatican grounds where he had spent nearly all of his decade in retirement, his days mainly devoted to prayer and reflection. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              Faithful visit the tomb of late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI inside the grottos of St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. Benedict died at 95 on Dec. 31 in the monastery on the Vatican grounds where he had spent nearly all of his decade in retirement, his days mainly devoted to prayer and reflection. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The public can now visit the tomb of Pope Benedict XVI in the grottoes under St. Peter’s Basilica.

The pontiff was buried on Jan. 5 immediately following a funeral in St. Peter’s Square. Benedict’s tomb lies in the grottoes under the basilica’s main floor.

The Vatican announced on Saturday that the public could visit the tomb starting Sunday morning.

Benedict had lived since 2013 as pope emeritus, following his retirement from the papacy, the first pontiff to do so in 600 years. He died on Dec. 31 at the age of 95, in the Vatican monastery where he spent his last years.

On Thursday, his longtime secretary, Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, imparted a final blessing after Benedict’s body, contained inside three coffins — the cypress one displayed in the square during the funeral presided over by Pope Francis, a zinc one and an outer one hewn from oak — were lowered into a space in the floor.

The remains were placed in the former tomb of Benedict’s predecessor, St. John Paul II. John Paul’s remains were moved up to a chapel on the main floor of the basilica following his 2011 beatification.

Some 50,000 people attended Benedict’s funeral, following three days of the body’s lying in state in the basilica, an event which drew nearly 200,000 viewers.

The name of Benedict, the Catholic church’s 265th pontiff, was engraved on a white marble slab, the Vatican said.

The Vatican didn’t say whether Pope Francis had privately visited the completed tomb of Benedict before public viewing was permitted, or might do so at some other time.

On Sunday morning, Francis was leading a ceremony for the baptism of 13 babies in the Sistine Chapel. The chapel, frescoed by Michelangelo, is the traditional setting for the baptisms, an event which closes out the Vatican’s year-end ceremonies.

Later, greeting pilgrims and tourists gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his Sunday noon blessing, Francis quoted from a 2008 homily by Benedict, in which the late pontiff spoke about salvation.

Drawing inspiration from his predecessor’s words, Francis said that the faithful when judging others, including in the Catholic church, should apply not harshness but mercy, “sharing the wounds and the fragilities” and avoiding divisions.

Francis has been criticized in some quarters by those who favored Benedict’s more conservative stances because his funeral homily made only a mere mention of the late pontiff. While Benedict and Francis had openly spoken of each other with respect, tensions festered for years between loyalists of both men.

___

Gregorio Borgia contributed from the Vatican.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Zoubin Ghahramani, vice president of research at Google, speaks at the Google AI@ event on W...
Associated Press

Google has the next move as Microsoft embraces OpenAI buzz

Before the artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT was unleashed into the world, the novelist Robin Sloan was testing a similar AI writing assistant built by researchers at Google.
10 hours ago
budgets...
Associated Press

Group’s lawsuit seeks to void Washington transportation law

A conservative legal advocacy organization is suing to halt the nearly $17 billion transportation funding bill passed by the Washington Legislature and signed by Gov. Jay Inslee last year.
10 hours ago
National receiver Jayden Reed of Michigan State (1) and cornerback Mekhi Blackmon of USC (31) run t...
Associated Press

NFL prospects safeguarded from inappropriate team questions

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — NFL prospect Jake Andrews fielded questions from teams designed to probe his personality and attitude more than just his football IQ. Those questions — such as, would you rather be a Super Bowl champion or Hall of Famer? — are standard issue for teams vetting potential draft picks leading up to […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Major textile factory in Haiti to close plant, lay off 3,500

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — One of Haiti’s biggest textile factories announced Thursday that it is closing an assembly plant and laying off 3,500 workers in yet another blow to the country’s crumbling economy. S&H Global, whose parent company is South Korean garment manufacturer Sae-A Trading Co. Ltd., said in a statement that strikes […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Looking for love online? New study shows mixed experiences

NEW YORK (AP) — Whether looking for love or a casual encounter, 3 in 10 U.S. adults say they have used a dating site or app — with mixed experiences, according to a Pew Research Center study out Thursday. For the under-35 set, more than half have tried it. The overall number, which amounts to […]
1 day ago
A sign announces a home for sale on Munjoy Hill, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, in Portland, Maine. On T...
Associated Press

Average long-term mortgage rate falls a fourth straight week

The average long-term U.S. mortgage rate declined for the fourth week in a row, a sign of relative stability that could potentially open the door for some prospective homebuyers to get back in the market. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average on the benchmark 30-year rate fell to 6.09% from 6.13% last […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Public now can see Benedict’s tomb at St. Peter’s Basilica