Benedict XVI, Orban and his wife in St. Peter’s to pay homage to Ratzinger

Second day of exposure in the Vatican basilica for the body of the pope emeritus. Almost 100,000 people paid homage to the Pope Emeritus

Second day of exposure of the body of Benedict XVI. Almost one hundred thousand people between yesterday and today paid homage to the remains of Pope Emeritus Joseph Ratzinger, whose funeral will be celebrated on Thursday morning at 9.30. Hungarian premier Viktor Orban also arrived in the Vatican Basilica this morning accompanied by his wife Anikò Lévai, wearing a black veil. Orban, who has gathered in prayer in front of the remains of the pope emeritus for a few minutes, will lead the unofficial delegation from his country to his funeral.

The homage of the faithful will continue until 7 pm tonight and also tomorrow, from 7 am to 7 pm. The funeral will be solemn but sober. Two official delegations will be present: Italian and German. But in the meantime, some presences of other Heads of State at the funeral are beginning to be announced: for Poland, President Andrzej Duda, for Spain, Queen Sofia, for Belgium, King Philip and Queen Mathilde, for Portugal, President Marcelo Nuno Duarte Rebelo de Sousa, for Hungary the president Katalin Novak.

Part of St. Peter’s Square has been made available to radio and television stations which will resume the funeral presided over by Pope Francis. On the day of the funeral, according to what has been learned, Vatican employees will be able to take part in the funeral in St. Peter’s Square upon request to their superiors.