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Article updated: 2/17/2013 4:10 PM

Pope blesses huge crowd in St. Peter's Square

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A priest displays a placard in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican as he follows Pope Benedict XVI reciting the Angelus prayer from the window of his apartments, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI blessed the faithful from his window overlooking St. Peter's Square for the first time since announcing his resignation, cheered by an emotional crowd of tens of thousands of well-wishers from around the world.

Associated Press

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Pope Benedict XVI reads his message during the Angelus noon prayer he celebrated from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. The Pontiff blessed the faithful for the first time since announcing his resignation, cheered by an emotional crowd of tens of thousands of well-wishers from around the world.

Associated Press

Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithful during the Angelus noon prayer he celebrated from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI blessed the faithful for the first time since announcing his resignation, cheered by an emotional crowd of tens of thousands of well-wishers from around the world.

Associated Press

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His arms outstretched in a symbolic embrace, Pope Benedict XVI blessed tens of thousands of cheering people on Sunday in one of his last appearances as pontiff from his window overlooking St. Peter's Square. Last week, 85-year-old Benedict shocked the world by announcing his resignation. He will step down on Feb. 28, planning to retreat to a life of prayer in a monastery behind the Vatican's ancient walls.
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    • A priest displays a placard in St. Peterís Square at the Vatican as he follows Pope Benedict XVI reciting the Angelus prayer from the window of his apartments, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI blessed the faithful from his window overlooking St. Peterís Square for the first time since announcing his resignation, cheered by an emotional crowd of tens of thousands of well-wishers from around the world.
    • Pope Benedict XVI reads his message during the Angelus noon prayer he celebrated from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peterís square at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. The Pontiff blessed the faithful for the first time since announcing his resignation, cheered by an emotional crowd of tens of thousands of well-wishers from around the world.
    • Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithful during the Angelus noon prayer he celebrated from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peterís square at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI blessed the faithful for the first time since announcing his resignation, cheered by an emotional crowd of tens of thousands of well-wishers from around the world.
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