'I am not abandoning the church'
In his last Angelus in St Peter's Square, he told thousands of cheering pilgrims he was following God’s wishes in deciding to abdicate.
The 85-year-old Pontiff said, “I am not abandoning the Church and shall continue to serve it in a manner more adapted to my age and strength,” through prayer and meditation, he added.
A nun prays during the Pope’s last Angelus prayer in St Peter’s Square. (Right) A youngster holds a banner reading “You are not alone, I’m also with you”.
The Pope’s final Sunday blessing made it to the front page of newspapers in Italy