Pope Benedict XVI has held his last mass as pontiff at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome in front of a congregration of thousands.
He was given a standing ovation as he arrived for the Ash Wednesday service, which was also attended by dozens of cardinals and bishops.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, 40 days of prayer and fasting for many Christians leading up to Easter.
The mass was the pope’s first appearance since his shock resignation on Monday which he put down to his age. Earlier, the 85-year-old told thousands of worshippers that he was standing down for “the good of the church”.
Such was the demand to attend his last mass, the traditional venue was changed from the Roman Basilica of Santa Sabina. It also saved the pope from the exhaustion of leading a long procession.
Copyright © 2014 euronewsMore about:
- 1#ن: How an Arabic letter was reclaimed to support Iraq’s persecuted Christians
- 2Air Algerie plane missing with 116 people on board
- 3Air Algerie plane ‘crashes’ over Sahara
- 4‘Eastern Ukrainians ‘hate Russian-led guerrillas’ — Yatsenyuk
- 5Sudanese mother sentenced to death in Sudan meets the Pope in Rome
- 147 dead and 11 injured in TransAsia Airways crash landing
- 2TransAsia Airways plane crashes on landing in Taiwan, killing dozens
- 3#ن: How an Arabic letter was reclaimed to support Iraq’s persecuted Christians
- 4Fighter jets ‘shot down’ over Ukraine
- 5Costa Concordia finally clear of Giglio, destined for dismemberment
- 1298 killed as Malaysia Airlines passenger jet shot down over Ukraine
- 2[LIVE UPDATE] Malaysia Airlines MH17: Dutch forensic team arrives at crash site
- 3Researchers reach mysterious giant crater in Siberia
- 447 dead and 11 injured in TransAsia Airways crash landing
- 5Ukraine: Black boxes recovered from downed Malaysian airliner
Wires > News
- 03:24 CET Al Jazeera journalists jailed in Egypt say they will appeal
- 02:39 CET Death row Christian woman flies out of Sudan, meets pope
- 02:12 CET Wreckage of Air Algerie plane carrying 116 people found in Mali
- 01:02 CET Iran detains four journalists, three of them Iranian-American…
- 00:54 CET Sudanese Salafi group endorses Islamic State’s new caliphate
- 00:23 CET At least 15 killed by shelling of Gaza school; toll exceeds 760
- 00:19 CET Rival Libyan militias clash in Tripoli, Benghazi
- 23:41 CET Mali, northern rebels agree on ‘roadmap’ for peace talks