On the eve of his resignation, Pope Benedict XVI addressed huge crowds in St. Peter's Square

11:15 AM, Feb 27, 2013   |    comments
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Vatican City, Italy - Pope Benedict XVI addressed huge crowds for the final time in St. Peter's Square Wednesday morning.

This comes on the eve of his resignation, a historic event because he will become the first pope to resign in six hundred years.

At least 50,000 people requested tickets, but it's estimated the number of people attended is double that.

In his speech, he thanked the crowd and his collegues for respecting his decision to resign. He made several round of the square as crowds cheered and held banner saying "thank you!" He also stopped to kiss a half-dozen children as well.

Vatican officials say in retirement, Pope Benedict will be known as 'emeritus pope.' That means when the new pontiff is elected, there will be two popes living just a few yards from each other. Benedict will not return home to Germany, he will continue to live in Vatican City.

Could this cause conflict? Critics say having two popes, both with same key aides serving them could, The Vatican insists it will not. Pope Benedict will be called 'your holiness' and will continue to wear a white robe.

One change though, he's will trade his famous red shoes for a brown pair he received on a trip to Mexico. He will also give up his papal ring, which will be smashed.

115 cardinals under the age of 80 will decide who fills Pope Benedict's shoes when they hold a secret election early next month inside the Sistine Chapel. Cardinals will meet on Monday to decide a date for that election.

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