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Benedict Gives Final Blessing

Says God called him to a life of prayer
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2013 5:55 AM CST
Benedict Gives Final Blessing
Nuns pray prior to Pope Benedict XVI's last Angelus noon prayer, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. The last chance for a Sunday blessing from Benedict is drawing a crowd.   (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

(Newser) – Pope Benedict has given his final Sunday blessing as pontiff from his window on St. Peter's Square, telling thousands of cheering well-wishers that "in prayer, we will always be close," reports the BBC. The pope, who steps down on Thursday, said in his final Angelus address that he's "not abandoning the church," but rather will continue to serve it in a way "more suitable to my age and strength," adds the AP. "Thank you for your affection," he told the crowd. Benedict's final public appearance comes Wednesday with his weekly appearance (Read more Pope Benedict XVI stories.)

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