According to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s longtime secretary, his last words before his death on Saturday were “Lord, I love you.”
Archbishop Georg Genswein quoted a nurse who was helping a 95-year-old man, who he heard shortly before his death on New Year’s Eve.
A nurse recalled that Benedict made a brief statement around 3 a.m. before he died later that morning, Gaenswein said.
“Benedict XVI said in a faint voice, but in a very clear way, ‘Lord, I love you’ in Italian.
“I wasn’t there at that moment, but the nurse told me about it a little later.
“That was the last word he could understand, because after that he couldn’t express himself.”
German prelate Genswin lived in a Vatican convent after Benedict resigned in 2013.
The Vatican reported that Pope Francis paid his respects shortly after Genswein called to inform him that Benedict had died shortly after 9:30 a.m.
Francis prayed for Benedict’s passage into heaven and expressed gratitude for his service as head of the Catholic Church, which lasted eight years.
“Today we entrust Our Lady with our beloved Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI so that she may accompany him on his passage from this world to God,” he said.
Benedict’s coffin will be seen for three days starting Monday, with more than 25,000 to 30,000 mourners expected on that day, said Bruno Frattaci, an official with the Rome Interior Ministry on Italian state television.
His body lay in burgundy beer in the chapel of the monastery where he retired and lived.
with post wire