Sat 30th Aug 2014 | Last updated: Fri 29th Aug 2014 at 16:54pm

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Benedict XVI thanks everyone during last Mass at St Peter’s

The Pope celebrated an emotional last Mass for the distribution of the ashes, kissing the basilica’s altar for the last time

Pope welcomed with warm applause in his first public appearance since abdication announcement

Benedict XVI seemed at ease as he led the general audience at the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall

Images from the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI

These images show how Benedict XVI, in a calm and surprising manner, announced in Latin that he will be resigning as the Successor of Peter

Animals pay a visit to St Peter’s Square

Horses, cows, rabbits and peacocks were among the species present for the traditional blessing of St Anthony at St Peter’s Square

Pope tweets for the first time

His message: ‘Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.’