Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI died on New Year's Eve, with his last words being, "Lord, I love you."
The statement was made at approximately 3 am and recalled by a nurse present.
Archbishop Georg Gaenswein shared the nurse's recollection with the Vatican's official media.
Pope Francis paid his respects to Benedict and expressed appreciation for his service.
Benedict's coffin will be viewed for three days, with thousands of mourners expected.
The body of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI lies at the Monastero Mater Ecclesia in Vatican City.
Gaenswein lived in the monastery where Benedict resided after retiring in 2013.
Benedict's body is lying on a burgundy-colored bier in the chapel of the monastery where he lived in retirement.