Pope Benedict XVI's final blessing
ROME -- The world said goodbye as Pope Benedict XVI gave his final blessing in Vatican City Wednesday.
The faithful crowd at St. Peter's Square heard the pontiff for the last time.
The leader of the Catholic Church will retire Thursday for the first time since the middle ages.
One last speech, one last ride in the pope-mobile and the pope even stopped to kiss a baby.
Wednesday he addressed the crowd in English to say goodbye.
"The decision I have made, after much prayer, is the fruit of a serene trust in God's will and a deep love of Christ's Church," said Benedict.
Thursday he will give up the Swiss Guard, his twitter account and will leave Rome to completely remove himself from the public eye, dedicating himself to prayer and meditation.