The funeral Mass, which was closed to the public,
followed one week of mourning. As many as 4
million faithful traveled to Rome to honor the
pope in one of the largest religious gatherings
in modern history. They crowded St.
Peter’s Square and lined up outside
the Basilica to pay their last respects to the
84-year-old pope passed
away on Saturday April
2nd 2005 after a long illness. His death
brought about an historic outpouring of affection
from people, both famous and ordinary, all over
the world. On Friday (April
8th) morning, an ancient, private ceremony
was held for the pope. Only high-ranking members
of the church attended the ceremony, which was
followed by a funeral Mass. Leaders from at
least 150 countries attended the 2 1/2-hour
funeral Mass. From the United States, President
George W. Bush was joined by First Lady Laura
Bush, his father, former President George H.W.
Bush, former President Bill Clinton and Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice.
Applause rang out as the pope’s coffin
was brought out from St.
Peter's Basilica under tight security.
It was placed on a carpet in front of the altar
in St. Peter’s Square. After the funeral
Mass, the pope was buried in
a crypt under St. Peter's Basilica.
of thousands of people in the square applauded
and chanted "Santo! Santo!" “Santo”
is the Italian word for saint. Millions want
the first non-Italian pope in 455 years to be
of Sadness and Hope
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger,
a leader of the College of Cardinals
and a close friend of the pope, conducted the
funeral Mass and delivered the homily. Ratzinger
remembered the pope’s life, from his days
as a factory worker in Poland to his final days
as leader of the world's 1 billion Catholics.
interrupted by applause, Ratzinger was choked
up as he talked about the pope. “Our hearts
are full of sadness, yet at the same time of
joyful hope and profound gratitude," he
said. At least 300,000 people filled St. Peter's
Square and millions of others watched the funeral
on giant television screens set up across Rome,
in Krakow, Poland and elsewhere. People also
gathered together to watch the funeral across
Africa, Asia and the Americas.
of All Faiths Honor the Pope
People of all religions, including Jews and
Muslims, came to St. Peter’s to honor
the pope. The pope worked tirelessly to improve
relations between people of all faiths. The
most widely-traveled pope in history, he was
known for always seeking contact with ordinary
was a pope for humanity," said Assemian
Omer Alain, 40, from Africa’s Ivory Coast.
Alain attended services at Sacred Heart basilica
in Paris, France. "All religions were the
same to him.”
Joseph Retzinger of Germany has been elected
Pope to lead the Roman Catholic Church. He has
chosen Pope Benedict XVI as His Papel name.