Pope Benedict XVI bids farewell to public life

Pope Benedict XVI greeted the faithful for the last time as pope, telling well-wishers gathered at the Vatican's vacation retreat that he is beginning the final stage of his life as a 'simple pilgrim,' hours before he became the first pontiff in 600 years to resign.

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In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI delivers his message on the occasion of his farewell meeting to cardinals, at the Vatican, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. Benedict XVI promised his "unconditional reverence and obedience" to his successor in his final words to his cardinals Thursday, a poignant farewell before he becomes the first pope in 600 years to resign. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)
Photo by Uncredited
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