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Pope Benedict XVI presides over a ceremony to mark the closure of the month dedicated to the Virgin Mary, at the Vatican gardens, Thursday, May 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Benedict XVI bids farewell

The Catholic Church awoke March 1 with no leader following the resignation of Benedict XVI, who pledged obedience to his successor and described himself as "simply a pilgrim" starting the final journey of his life.