The Deed of Pope Benedict XVI’s Burial

Gregory DiPippo

Earlier today, the funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who passed away on the morning of New Year’s Eve, was celebrated in the Piazza San Pietro. He will be interred in the grotto of the Vatican basilica, in the same place where first St John XXIII, and later St John Paul II, were previously buried, before they were beatified and their relics brought up to the church. As is customary, a deed of the principal acts of his papacy has been composed in Latin, which is then written on parchment, sealed into a glass bottle, and buried along with the body. This was customarily done not only for popes, but also for cardinals and secular dignitaries of all kinds. Here are some excerpts from the newest example; the full text can be read on the official Vatican website.

(His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, during his Apostolic visit to Brazil in May of 2007. Photo from Wikimedia Commons by Agência BrasilCC BY 3.0 BR)

“In lumine Christi a mortuis Resurgentis, die tricesimo primo mensis Decembris anno Domini bismillesimo vicesimo secundo, hora nona, triginta quattuor momentis elapsis, ante meridiem, dum annus ad finem vergebat et iam ad Te Deum canendum parati eramus propter diversa beneficia a Domino concessa, Ecclesiae dilectus Pastor emeritus, Benedictus XVI, de hoc mundo ad Patrem migravit. Eius transitum tota Ecclesia orans una cum Summo Pontifice Francisco comitata est.

Benedictus XVI ducentesimus sexagesimus quintus fuit Pontifex. Cuius memoria in universae Ecclesiae atque omnium hominum cordibus perseverans manet. Iosephus Aloisius Ratzinger, die undevicesimo mensis Aprilis anno bismillesimo quinto Summus Pontifex electus, in vico v.d. Marktl am Inn, intra fines dioecesis Passaviensis, die decimo sexto mensis Aprilis anno millesimo nongentesimo vicesimo septimo ortus est. Pater eius munere publici ministri fungebatur, ex agricolarum Bavariae inferioris familia natus, cuius fortuna admodum erat exigua. Mater opificum de vico v.d. Rimsting ad lacum Chiemense erat filia, quae ante nuptias opus coquae varia apud deversoria exercuerat. Infantiam et adolescentiam in vico v.d. Traunstein deguit, parvo oppido prope Austriae fines, quod triginta circiter chilometra a Salisburgo aberat, ubi institutione sua christiana, humana et culturali exornatus est. …

Pontificatus sui fulcrum Benedictus Pp XVI propositum Dei et fidei posuit, necnon perseverantem vultus Domini Iesu Christi perquisitionem, ad cuius cognitionem omnes adiuvit opere potissimum suo, cui titulus Iesus de Nazareth, in tria volumina diviso. Ampla altaque doctrina biblica ac theologica praeditus, mira facultate enituit perspicua de summis capitibus doctrinae et spiritualitatis compendia concipiendi, sicut et de hodiernae aetatis vita Ecclesiae et humano cultu praecipuis. …

Doctrinae magisterium Benedicti Pp XVI in tribus Litteris encyclicis Deus caritas est …, Spe salvi … et Caritas in veritate … expositum videtur. Ecclesiae quattuor Adhortationes Apostolicas tradidit, plurimas Constitutiones Apostolicas, Litteras Apostolicas, praeter catecheses in Audientiis Generalibus et Allocutionibus habitis, additis illis in viginti quattuor itineribus Apostolicis ubique per orbem pronuntiatis.


In the light of Christ risen from the dead, on 31 December in the year of our Lord 2022, at 9:34 a.m., as the year came to an end and we were ready to sing the Te Deum for the many benefits granted by the Lord, the beloved Pastor Emeritus of the Church, Benedict XVI, passed from this world to the Father. The entire Church together with the Holy Father Francis in prayer accompanied his transit.

Benedict XVI was the 265th Pope. His memory endures in the hearts of the whole Church and of all men. Joseph Aloysius Ratzinger, who was elected Pope on April 19, 2005, was born on April 16, 1927, in Marktl am Inn, in the diocese of Passau (Germany). His father was a public official and came from a farming family in Lower Bavaria, of modest economic resources. His mother was the daughter of artisans from Rimsting on the shore of Lake Chiem, and before marrying she worked as a cook in a number of hotels. He spent his childhood and adolescence in Traunstein, a small village near the Austrian border, about thirty kilometres from Salzburg, where he received his Christian, human and cultural education. …

Pope Benedict XVI placed the theme of God and the Faith at the center of his pontificate, and the continuous search for the face of the Lord Jesus Christ, and helped all men to know Him especially by his work in three volumes Jesus of Nazareth.

Endowed with vast and profound biblical and theological knowledge, he was outstanding in his ability to formulate clear syntheses on the principal doctrinal and spiritual themes, as well as on crucial issues in the life of the Church and contemporary culture. …

Benedict XVI’s doctrinal magisterium is summarized in the three Encyclicals Deus caritas est …, Spe salvi … and Caritas in veritate (29 June 2009). He gave to the Church four Apostolic Exhortations, numerous Apostolic Constitutions and Apostolic Letters, as well as the Catecheses held at the General Audiences and the allocutions, including those delivered during his twenty-four apostolic journeys around the world.”

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