Benedict: Pray for Me, Next Pope

It's his second-to-last Angelus blessing until he steps down

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Feb 17, 2013 5:25 AM CST | Updated Feb 17, 2013 6:04 AM CST

(Newser) – Pope Benedict XVI is blessing 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. Speaking in Spanish, Reuters notes that Benedict implored the crowd, "I beg you to continue praying for me and for the next pope." He triumphantly raised his arms outstretched to the crowd in his second-to-last Angelus blessing before leaving the papacy. A huge banner in the square read: "We love you."

The appointment today is one of the most cherished traditions of the Catholic Church, and this moment is one of Benedict's last opportunities to connect with the Catholic masses. The pontiff will spend the rest of the week on a Lenten prayer retreat, reports the BBC.

Pope Benedict XVI blesses the faithful from his window overlooking St.Peter's Square during the Angelus prayer, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013.
Pope Benedict XVI blesses the faithful from his window overlooking St.Peter's Square during the Angelus prayer, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Nuns applaud as they listen to Pope Benedict XVI's message during the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.
Nuns applaud as they listen to Pope Benedict XVI's message during the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Faithful listen to Pope Benedict XVI's message during the angelus prayer in St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.
Faithful listen to Pope Benedict XVI's message during the angelus prayer in St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Faithful listen to Pope Benedict XVI's message during the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.
Faithful listen to Pope Benedict XVI's message during the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Pope Benedict XVI greets the faithful during the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.
Pope Benedict XVI greets the faithful during the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithful during the Angelus noon prayer he celebrated in St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.
Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithful during the Angelus noon prayer he celebrated in St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Benedict XVI waves during the Angelus noon prayer he celebrated from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's square, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.
Pope Benedict XVI waves during the Angelus noon prayer he celebrated from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's square, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
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