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Nearly 50,000 faithful attend the funeral of Benedict XVI

Nearly 50,000 faithful attended the solemn funeral of Benedict XVI this Thursday, January 5, which Pope Francis presided over in Saint Peter’s Square in the Vatican and which concluded with the transfer of his mortal remains to the Vatican caves to be buried in the tomb he occupied until his beatification in 2005 John Paul II.

According to the latest data provided by the authorities, 50,000 people have attended the final obsequies, compared to the more than two million people who were present during the funeral of his predecessor.

Francis arrived in a wheelchair 40 minutes after the coffin of Benedict XVI, which was welcomed to applause, was carried by twelve sediarians, the former bearers of the Popes’ Gestatory Chair, to the parvis in St. Pedro while the faithful prayed the rosary.

In the first rows were seated Georg Ganswein and the four lay women, without any type of vow or habit, called Memores Domini of Communion and Liberation, who in recent years have taken care of his assistance in daily activities, and who have accompanied him in procession the coffin back inside the basilica of San Pedro to take it to the caves. The burial is private and, therefore, the presence of the cameras is not foreseen.

Although there were only two official delegations, on the part of Spain, Queen Sofía attended, sitting in the front row next to the King and Queen of Belgium, and just behind the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños. The Spanish ambassador to the Holy See, Isabel Celaá, also attended.

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