In his first public appearance since he announced his resignation, Pope Benedict XVI thanked the public for their "love and prayers," and explained that he was resigning for the "good of the Church."
According to the Associated Press, the 85-year-old Benedict received a one-minute long standing ovation when he entered the hall at the Vatican for his weekly Wednesday audience. He said that he didn't believe that he could carry on as pope as he didn't have the strength it required.
"As you know, I have decided to renounce the ministry that the Lord gave to me on April 19, 2005," he said during the speech. "I did this in full liberty for the good of the church."
Pope Benedict is the first pope in almost 600 years to resign.
He will hold his last public Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica this Wednesday for Ash Wednesday. According to BBC, the Vatican holds a retreat for the remainder of lent, but the world will most likely have a new Pope by Easter.
Though after his retirement Pope Benedict will no longer have a say in Vatican affairs, he appointed 67 of the 117 cardinals that will decide on the new pope.