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Mary Posani/MEDILL - Photo/Chris Holmquist

Pope Benedict XVI officially left the Vatican Thursday. American students joined the thousands to bid him farewell.

American students join thousands for Pope's departure

by Mary Posani
Feb 28, 2013

VATICAN CITY-- Thousands gathered in St. Peter's Square to bid farewell to Pope Benedict XVI as he helicoptered away and vacated the Vatican as the Catholic Church's spiritual leader. The pope left about 5 p.m. in Italy for his temporary home at Castel Gandolfo, just south of Rome. Pope Benedict officially resigned at 8 p.m., 1 p.m. in Chicago. "I found myself wondering how the pope was feeling," said student Veronica Halbur from Joliet. "It was a very powerful experience being here for it."