"The Lord is calling me 'out to the mountain' to devote more time to prayer and meditation, but this does not mean I'm abandoning the Church. In fact, if God is asking this of me, it's precisely to continue serving the Church with the same dedication and love with which I have served so far, but in a way that's more suited for my age and strength.”
The Pope's Angelus was repeatedly interrupted by applause and cheers. Before completing the last Angelus of his Pontificate, the Pope said he will always be close to the Church and its people.
"Thank you, I will always be near you.”
This Angelus was the Pope's first public appearance, following a spiritual retreat which ended on Saturday. On Monday he will meet with Cardinals of the Roman Curia and on Wednesday, he will celebrate his last General Audience in St. Peter's Square.