Last papal greeting during pontificate of Benedict XVI

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Yesterday evening, shortly before officially resigning from the Petrine ministry on February 28, 2013, at 8:00 p.m. Rome time, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI gave his last greeting during his pontificate before a crowd assembled to welcome him to the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo:

Dear Friends,

bxviI am happy to be with you, surrounded by the beauty of Creation and your kindness, which does me so much good. Thank you for your friendship and your affection. You know that this day is different for me from the preceding ones. I am no longer the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church, or I will be until 8:00 this evening and then no longer. I am simply a pilgrim beginning the last leg of his pilgrimage on this earth. But I would still, thank you, I would still—with my heart, with my love, with my prayers, with my reflection, and with all my inner strength—like to work for the common good and the good of the Church and of humanity. I feel greatly supported by your kindness. Let us go forward with the Lord for the good of the Church and the world. Thank you. I now wholeheartedly impart my blessing.

May Almighty God bless us, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Good night! Thank you all!

A video of this greeting is available on the Vatican YouTube account.

The Vatican website has also posted an album of photographs and quotations from the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. 

Last Updated on Friday, March 01 2013  
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