The Faithful Pay Their Respects to Pope Benedict

The faithful are lining up at St. Peter’s Basilica Monday to pay their respects to Pope Benedict where he is lying in state.  

Some had been waiting for hours when the doors were finally opened.  

The 95-year-old retired pontiff died Saturday morning. Benedict was the first pope in 600 years to step down from his Vatican post.  

Filippo Tuccio, 35, told The Associated Press that he came from Venice on an overnight train to view Benedict’s body. 

“He was very important for me: for what I am, my way of thinking, my values. This is why I wanted to say goodbye today,” Tuccio said.  

Benedict’s body, dressed in traditional red liturgical garments with a miter, will lie in state until Wednesday. 

On Thursday, “Pope Francis will become the first pope in modern history to preside as Pope at the funeral of his predecessor,” according to Vatican News website. 

“Lord, I love you,” are reported to be the last words Benedict uttered shortly before his death, Vatican News reported. 

The retired pope’s personal secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, said a nurse was the only person with Benedict at the time.  

“I was not there at the moment, but the nurse told me about it shortly afterwards,” Gänswein said. “These were his last comprehensible words, because afterwards he was no longer able to express himself.” 

Benedict, born Joseph Ratzinger, was 95 at the time of his death.  

Some information in this report came from Reuters.