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.