The throng had been gathering since before the aging, ailing pope died almost a week ago, and many more people converged on the Vatican in the days that followed. TheFriday, with 2 billion people expected to tune in to broadcasts over TV and radio networks as well as the Web.
For the people gathered in Rome, ceremonies in remembrance of the 84-year-old pope also were shown on giant outdoor screens.
Although the pope was a widely seen as a traditionalist on matters of church doctrine, his papacy coincided with the dawn of the Internet age. The Vatican capitalized on--for instance, last year it signed a deal with Verizon Communications to deliver a daily papal message to subscribers' cell phones. On Saturday, it used SMS (short message service) and e-mail to alert journalists to the news of the pope's death.
On Thursday, the pope's last will and testament was.