March 3 marked an exceptional Sunday at St. Peter’s Square in Rome without a pope to lead the mass.
Benedict XVI stepped down on February 28, leaving pilgrims and tourists looking up at the empty window he used to speak from and wondering who will replace him.
One local said, “It’s a strange thing. I came with my children to witness this unusual day without a pope.”
Another expressed regret at the changes at the top of the Roman Catholic Church, saying, “I’m sorry that the pope went away, I hope that the next one who comes will be a good pope.”
Cardinals are gathering in Rome from around the world to take part in voting for Benedict’s successor – in a process known as the Conclave.
The first official discussions are due to start on March 4.