Vatican City, Feb 28, 2013 / 09:07 am
On Thursday, Feb. 28, church bells in Rome and Albano rang out during the helicopter flight that took Pope Benedict XVI from the Vatican to Castel Gandolfo on the day of his resignation.
The Pope departed the Vatican at 5 p.m. local time to travel to Albano, where the papal summer residence is located and where he was welcomed by the faithful. Numerous Catholic communities organized a pilgrimage to Castel Gandolfo to begin at 4 p.m. local time.
Officials of the Papal Household told Vatican Radio in advance that the Holy Father would greet the faithful and bid farewell from the balcony of the Papal Residence.
Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano told Vatican Radio that it is a "truly a great privilege" for his diocese to welcome the Pope during his transition to retirement.