Benedict bids farewell to thousands of followers in Vatican send-off
Updated: Wednesday, February 27 2013, 11:34 PM EST
VATICAN CITY (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Pope Benedict XVI addressed his followers during an emotional send-off near the Vatican.
Tens of thousands packed St. Peter's Square to witness history Wednesday as the Pope spent about 15 minutes saying hellos, waving, and smiling from the Popemobile.
An estimated 150,000 people cheered and waved signs thanking the Pope for his service.
Benedict retires Thursday, and plans to dedicate the rest of his years to prayer.
115 Cardinals will take part in the Conclave, the selection process which is expected to take place early next month.