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Feb 27, 2013 12:43 PM by Associated Press

Pope makes public farewell on his last day as pontiff

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict has made his public farewell, promising a crowd of about 150,000 people in St. Peter's Square that he would continue serving the church through prayer.

In his final speech as pontiff, Benedict recalled moments of "joy and light" during his papacy and also times of difficulty when he said "it seemed like the Lord was sleeping." But he says, "To love the church means also to have the courage to take difficult, painful decisions."

The pope was given a thundering applause and took a long victory lap around the square in an open-sided car. Many in the crowd held banners says "Thank you!"

The pope resigns tomorrow.

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