Pope Receives Thunderous Ovation At Final Public Mass (Video)


Eight-thousand worshippers packed St. Peter's Basilicain Romeon Wednesday night to watch Pope Benedict preside over the Ash Wednesday observance, his last scheduled Mass before stepping down as Pontiff.

The capacity crowd gave the Pope a thunderous ovation lasting several minutes, and in an unusual gesture, bishops took off their caps in a sign of respect.

A visibly moved Pontiff thanked the audience, adding "Now, let's return to prayer".

Soon, Pope Benedict will exchange this splendor of the Vatican for a sober modern residence and a life of what the Vatican says will be quiet prayer.