2013-03-02 L’Osservatore Romano
At 8:00 p.m. Thursday, 28 February, the Pontificate of Benedict XVI endded the 'sede vacante' began. Just before, around 5:20 p.m. the Pope arrived at the Apostolic Residence in Castel Gandolfo, where he went to the central balcony and greeted the numerous faithful in Piazza della Libertà. The following is the English text of the Holy Father's words.
Thank you. Thank you all.
I am happy to be with you, surrounded by the beauty of Creation and your kindness, which does me so much good. Thank you for your friendship and your affection. You know that this day is different for me from the preceding ones. I am no longer the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church, or I will be until 8:00 this evening and then no longer. I am simply a pilgrim beginning the last leg of his pilgrimage on this earth. But I would still, thank you, I would still—with my heart, with my love, with my prayers, with my reflection, and with all my inner strength—like to work for the common good and the good of the Church and of humanity. I feel greatly supported by your kindness. Let us go forward with the Lord for the good of the Church and the world. Thank you. I now wholeheartedly impart my blessing.
May Almighty God bless us, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Good night! Thank you all!