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Pope Benedict’s last words recorded by his nurse

Pope Benedict’s last words recorded by his nurse

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The last words of the Pope were recorded by the bedside nurse

Former Pope Benedict XVI has died aged 95, the Vatican said on Saturday, almost a decade after he became the first pontiff to resign in six centuries. According to his nurse, the Pope’s last words were recorded.

Archbishop Georg Ganswein, Benedict’s private secretary, told Vatican News, “Only in a whisper out loud, but in a clearly distinguishable way, [Benedict] said in Italian ‘Lord, I love you!’ I wasn’t there, but the nurse told me about it shortly afterwards.”

Mr Ganswein added: “Those were his last intelligible words because after that he could no longer speak.”

The German pontiff emeritus, born Joseph Ratzinger, has lived a quiet life in a former monastery on Vatican grounds since his shock decision to step down in February 2013, AFP reported.

According to Vatican News, his health had been declining for a long time and on Wednesday his condition worsened as his successor, Pope Francis, called on Catholics around the world to pray for him.

Tens of thousands of people paid their respects Monday to former Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican, beginning three days of pilgrimage at St. Peter’s Basilica ahead of his funeral.

They began queuing before dawn to see the German theologian’s body, which was taken early in the morning from the monastery on the Vatican grounds where he died on Saturday at the age of 95.

“I arrived at 6:00 in the morning, it seemed normal to come and pay my respects to him after all he did for the church,” said an Italian nun, Sister Anna-Maria, near the line that wound around the huge St. Peter Square.

Benedict led the Catholic Church for eight years until 2013 before becoming the first pope in six centuries to step down, citing ill health.

His successor, Pope Francis, will lead the funeral on Thursday in St Peter’s Square, before Benedict’s remains are laid to rest in the tombs under the basilica.

He will be buried in the tomb that housed the remains of Pope John Paul II until 2011, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said on Monday.

Benedict’s body, dressed in red papal mourning vestments and a gold-edged miter, was laid on a hearse draped with a cloth of gold before the altar of St. Peter, flanked by two Swiss guards.

Many of this archival past took pictures on their smartphones, while some prayed or crossed themselves.

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