Pope Benedict XVI: ‘The Lord is calling me to climb onto the mountain’
Thousands gather in St. Peter’s Square for pope’s final blessing
Thousands of worshippers gathered in St. Peter’s Square this morning for Pope Benedict XVI’s final public blessing.
“We thank God for the sun he has given us,” Benedict said as the clouds cleared during his appearance.
The Pope, who will vacate the papacy on Feb. 28, said he is not abandoning the church. “The Lord is calling me to climb onto the mountain, to dedicate myself even more to prayer and meditation,” he told the crowd. “If God asks this of me, it is precisely because I can continue to serve her with the same dedication and the same love I have shown so far.”
In a photo provided by the Vatican newspaper, Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing during his last Angelus noon prayer. Benedict XVI said he is retiring to spend his final years in prayer. (L'Osservatore Romano, ho, AP)
Tens of thousands showed up to hear Pope Benedict XVI's last Angelus noon prayer in St. Peter's Square. (Alessandra Tarantino/AP Photo)
Faithful from Trento, northern Italy, hold signs in Italian reading 'Grazie Padre' (Thank you Father) prior to Pope Benedict XVI's final public blessings. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)