Category: World / February 13, 2013 3:00 PM EST
Thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday (February 13) to watch Pope Benedict XVI hold the traditional Ash Wednesday service, just two days after he announced that he would resign from the post at the end of February.
The mass, which was moved from a small church in Rome to St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican after the announcement, and shown on a large screen in the square, was expected to be the pope's final public mass in office.
The change of location allowed for a larger crowd, of tens of thousands, to attend.
Benedict will officially retire on February 28.