Pope gives final Sunday blessing

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict has bestowed his final Sunday blessing of his pontificate.
  
He told thousands cheering in St. Peter's Square that his age and lack of energy made him better suited to the life of private prayer he soon will spend in a secluded monastery. On Thursday evening, the 85-year-old German-born theologian will become the first pope to have resigned from the papacy in 600 years.
  
Benedict made a noon appearance from his studio window overlooking the vast square.  He was given thunderous applause and the many banners reading "Grazie" (Thanks) held up in the crowd estimated by police to number 100,000.
 

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