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A helicopter carrying Pope Benedict XVI leaves the Vatican on February 28, 2013, his final day as Pontiff (CNS/Stefano Rellandini, Reuters)

The funeral Mass of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will take place in St Peter’s Square on Thursday, January 5 at 9.30am (7.30pm AEDT), the Vatican has announced. Source: CNA.

Pope Francis will preside over the funeral, which, in keeping with Benedict’s wishes, “will be carried out under the sign of simplicity”, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said.

Benedict’s body will lie in state in St Peter’s Basilica from Monday morning. 

Mr Bruni told journalists that Benedict XVI received the sacrament of the anointing of the sick on December 28, in the presence of the consecrated women who helped run his household.

Pope Francis visited Benedict XVI on December 28, after his weekly public audience, in which he asked for prayers for the “very ill” pope emeritus.

A German foundation has launched a website,, where people can leave their condolences for Benedict XVI.


Funeral Mass of Benedict XVI to be held Jan. 5 (By Hannah Brockhaus, CNA)

Farewell to Benedict XVI: ‘Humble worker in vineyard of the Lord’ (Vatican News