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Benedict XVI blessed the cardinals and gave a short speech

Pope tells president of the Slovakian Republic: ‘I would have gone to Slovakia this year’

Best moments of Benedict XVI’s pontificate

Relive Pope Benedict’s eight-year pontificate in less than two minutes

About 200,000 people were expected to attend the general audience

Benedict XVI speaks off-the-cuff about Vatican II in audience with priests

Benedict XVI was the only person able to hold back tears during his last Mass as pope at St Peter’s Basilica

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

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

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