You can now see Benedict’s Tomb in St. Peter’s Basilica

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Vatican City (AP) — The public can now visit the tomb of Pope Benedict XVI in the grotto below St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Pope was buried on January 5, shortly after his funeral service in St. Peter’s Square. Benedict’s tomb is located in a grotto under the main floor of the cathedral.

The Vatican announced on Saturday that the tomb will be open to the public to visit from Sunday morning.

Benedict has been Pope Emeritus since 2013, after retiring as Pope for the first time in 600 years. He died on December 31, at the age of 95, in a Vatican convent where he spent the last years of his life.

On Thursday, Archbishop Georg Genswein, Benedict’s longtime secretary, bestowed his final blessings on Benedict’s body after it was placed in three coffins. — lowered into floor space.

The body was placed in the tomb of Saint John Paul II, Benedict’s predecessor. John his Paul’s remains were moved to the chapel on the main his floor of the cathedral after his beatification in 2011.

About 50,000 people attended Benedict’s funeral, and after his body lay in the basilica for three days, it was watched by about 200,000 viewers.

According to the Vatican, the name of Benedict, the 265th Pope of the Catholic Church, is engraved on a white marble slab.

The Vatican did not say whether Pope Francis personally visited the completed Benedict’s tomb before it was allowed to open to the public, or if it may visit at another time.

On Sunday morning, Francis was leading the christening of 13 babies in the Sistine Chapel. The frescoed chapel by Michelangelo is the traditional setting for baptisms, the event that concludes the Vatican’s year-end ceremonies.


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