Pope greets the masses for the final time
Updated: Wednesday, February 27 2013, 08:37 AM EST
(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Pope Benedict XVI greeted the catholic masses in St. Peter's Square Wednesday morning for the last time before retiring.
He thanked the masses for their support, and for respecting his decision.
The Pontiff made several rounds in the square, waving to the crowds and stopping to kiss a half dozen children before delivering his final message.
He recalled moments of quote "joy and light" during his 8-year papacy.
On Thursday Benedict will become the first pope in 600 years to resign.
The 85-year-old says he made the decision because he didn't have the strength of mind or body to carry on.