Tue, Mar 05, 2013 - Page 9 News List

Pope Benedict XVI retires to be a ‘simple pilgrim’

By Lizzy Davies  /  The Guardian, Castel Gandolfo, Italy

Adjoining Cagnole’s store is a shop selling pots of honey made on pontifical villas’ own farm.

As he left the Vatican, Benedict XVI was bade an emotional farewell by his Swiss guards and aides, some of whom had tears in their eyes. Bells rang out from St Peter’s Basilica and churches all over the city.

He was then whisked away in an Italian Air Force helicopter through the skies above Rome — a dramatic journey that took him over the Colosseum, the Roman forum and the lush countryside beyond.

Banners reading “thank you” were held up for him to see. Just before his departure, his Twitter handle posted a message thanking believers for their “love and support” and wishing them the joy of faith. The ID was now “in abeyance” for the next pope, the Vatican said.

Just who that will be is now the only guessing game in town.

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