A Letterkenny woman has had the honour of reading to a global audience at the Requiem Mass of Pope Emeritus Benedict.
Mary Maguire of the Raphoe Diocese proclaimed the second liturgical reading to an estimated 100,000 mourners at St. Peter’s Square in The Vatican this morning.
Ms Maguire’s reading was from the First letter of St Peter (1:3-9). The reading praises God’s mercy giving the faithful “a new birth” as his children and “by raising Jesus Christ from the dead, so that we have a sure hope and the promise” of eternal life in heaven.
The funeral Mass is presided over by Pope Francis. Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, dean of the College of Cardinals, was the main celebrant at the altar.
Ms Maguire is a well-known community support worker with Saint Vincent De Paul and is also very active in her parish.
Also present in St. Peter’s Square today is Conwal & Leck Parish Priest Monsignor Kevin Gillespie, who was a personal Master of Ceremonies to Pope Benedict and travelled to many countries with him while working in Rome in the Congregation for the Clergy.
Fr. Eamonn Mc Laughlin of Downings, who is currently working in the Congregation for Clergy is also present today, as is retired Bishop Philip Boyce.
Today’s funeral is a historic event as former pope Benedict XVI is first former pontiff in the modern history of the Catholic church to be buried by an incumbent pope, Francis.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI died on Saturday at the age of 95. He is to be laid to rest in the tomb where Pope John Paul II was buried before beatification. The final moments of Benedict XVI’s burial in the grotto of St. Peter’s Basilica, where other popes are buried, will be done in private.
In Lifford, the tricolour is being flown at half-mast at Donegal County Council offices to mark the funeral of former Pope Benedict XVI.