(Vatican Radio) The world awoke this morning to the first full day of the vacancy of the See of Rome, after Benedict XVI’s resignation became effective yesterday evening. The Pope-emeritus is residing temporarily at Castel Gandolfo, in the palace used by Popes as a summer retreat. When renovations on the monastery inside the walls of Vatican City are complete, Benedict XVI will take up residence there. Yesterday evening, Benedict greeted pilgrims gathered to welcome him on his arrival and accompany him into retirement. Listen:
“Thank you, thank you from my heart,” he said, “I am happy to be here with you, surrounded by the beauty of Creation and your friendship that does me so much good, thank you for your friendship, for caring.” The Holy Father went on to say that, as of 8PM yesterday evening, he would simply be a pilgrim who is beginning the last part of his pilgrimage on earth. “But with my heart, my love, my prayer,” he said, “with all my inner strength, I will work for the common good and the good of the Church and all humanity.” Saying that he feels greatly the support of the people’s affection, the Pope concluded, saying, “Let us move forward together with the Lord for the good of the Church and the world.” Then, for the last time, he gave the Apostolic Blessing.