"We came to ask for the Pope's blessing. We came all the way from Peru. We're very sad that the Pope is leaving. He greeted us, so we're sad that it's the last time he'll do so.”
There was no shortage of flags, banners, applause and cheers. Some groups don't need an introduction.
"Chi, le, chi, chi, chi, le, le, le Viva Chile”.
"It's the first time I've been in a place like this, so seeing and hearing the Pope directly was a very moving experience. It was very exciting.”
"His determination, courage, strength in uniting the Church, even in sensitive issues that he's had to deal with. I think he has shown great leadership of the Catholic Church.”
Some came out of curiosity, others to thank the Pope for his eight year Pontificate.
"It was really nice to be here in, to be involved with the people. You know, be part of history.”
"It was sad in that way because of his ill health, but having said that, he has done a very good job and I wish him well in his retirement.”
"It was great to feel his strength and this way every one of us can also strengthen him. It was a difficult decision, but as a Church, it's time for us to feel renewed, to open a window of hope which is what Benedict XVI has encouraged us to do.”
It was history in the making. It's estimated that over 200,000 people came to say thank you and farewell in Benedict XVI's last Angelus.
OFL @ odelafu /KLH