<p>Here is a translation of the brief address Benedict XVI gave this evening when he arrived at Castel Gandolfo. He spoke without a script from the central balcony, concluding with his final blessing as Pontiff.

* * *

Thank you!

Thank you all!

Dear friends, I am happy to be with you, surrounded by the beauty of Creation and your affection that does me much good. Thank you for your friendship, your love, [applause] ...

You know that this day for me is different from previous ones: I am no longer the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church: until eight in the evening I will be still, and then no longer. I am simply a pilgrim who begins the last leg of his pilgrimage on this earth.

But I wish still [applause - thank you!] ... but I wish still with my heart, my love, my prayer, my reflection, with all my inner strength, to work for the common good and the good of the Church and of humanity. And I feel very much supported by your affection.

Let's go forward with the Lord for the good of the Church and the world.

Thank you, I give you now [applause] ... with all my heart, my blessing.


Thank you, good night! Thank you all!

[Translation by Peter Waymel]