Pope Benedict XVI bids farewell

Associated Press
Faithful from Trento, northern Italy, hold up signs in Italian reading "Grazie Padre" (Thank you Father) and "Grazie Santo Padre ci mancherai" (Thank you Holy Father we will miss you) prior to Pope Benedict XVI's last Angelus noon prayer, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. The last chance for a Sunday blessing from Pope Benedict XVI from his studio window is drawing a crowd to St. Peter's Square. Benedict, 85, steps down on Thursday, the first pontiff to resign in 600 years. He'll hold his last public audience in the square on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

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The Catholic Church awoke March 1 with no leader following the resignation of Benedict XVI, who pledged obedience to his successor and described himself as "simply a pilgrim" starting the final journey of his life.

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