Yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI delivered his final Angelus message to a crowd that, depending on who you read, was between 100,000 and 200,000 people. I was blessed in 2010 to be in St. Peter's Square for an Angelus with His Holiness and you can see the "modest" crowd below. But it's what the Holy Father said about his future plans that will make this week like no other the Church has seen. Benedict continues to show his holiness and his supreme love of the church with his remarks:
“The Lord is calling me 'out to the mountain' to devote more time to prayer and meditation, but this does not mean I'm abandoning the Church. In fact, if God is asking this of me, it's precisely to continue serving the Church with the same dedication and love with which I have served so far, but in a way that's more suited for my age and strength.” --Pope Benedict XVI (2/24/13 Angelus)
He is definitely not abandoning the Church. Through prayer, he will be closer to us than ever!