Charity registration No. SC002876   Sunday March 3rd. 2013 Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Main Menu 200,000 pilgrims from all over the world bid farewell to Pope Benedict Two hundred thousand people gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday to bid farewell to Pope Benedict and to receive his blessing at the final Angelus. The Pope greeted the adoring crowds by making several rounds of the square in his popemobile, as he was cheered wildly. He stopped to kiss a half-dozen children brought up to him by his secretary. During a poignant final audience speech he said there had been moments of joy but at times it had 'seemed like the Lord was sleeping'. He said that 'to love the Church means also to have the courage to take difficult, painful decisions, always keeping the good of the Church in mind, not oneself.' He said he understood the gravity of his decision to become the first pope to resign in 600 years but said he had done it for the 'good of the Church'. He said: 'I took this step in full awareness of its gravity and rarity but also with profound serenity of spirit.' He said he was not 'coming down from the cross' despite renouncing his office but would remain in the service of the church through prayer. He asked the faithful to pray for the cardinals and whoever they chose as his successor. Benedict will be known as Pope Emeritus and will always wear a white soutane. He will live in a monastery at the back of the Vatican where he will be cared for by a religious order of nuns. He is a very fine pianist, with a great love of Mozart’s  music. Another love is cats, and no doubt he will have a cat in his new home. He intends to spend his time in prayer, reflection and writing. He promises his successor his prayers, filial obedience and love. Pope Benedict’s final farewell A frail Pope Benedict bids farewell to the crowd The gentle, humble Pope who won the hearts of the faithful. May God grant Benedict many years of peace and quiet in his retirement, and we hope to see the fruits of his prayers and reflections and his gift as a spiritual writer in future publications.