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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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Pope Benedict XVI waves from his pope-mobile as he is driven through the crowd during his last general audience in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. Benedict XVI has recalled moments of "joy and light" during his papacy but also times of great difficulty in an emotional, final general audience in St. Peter's Square before retiring. Benedict thanked his cardinals, colleagues and ordinary faithful for their support and for respecting his decision to become the first pope in 600 years to resign. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
Photo by Dmitry Lovetsky
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