Images of the Pope’s departure

The Holy Father is leaving the Apostolic Palace to go to Castel Gandolfo.

Some images…

Our final view of Pope Benedict XVI as Roman Pontiff.

UPDATE:  The doors are closed.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Geoffrey says:

    The bells ring out in the Eternal City as the Pope leaves Rome… emotional day.

  2. midwestmom says:

    Emotional indeed. The bells are awesome!

  3. Stumbler but trying says:

    EWTN is doing a wonderful job of bringing the faithful all the wonderful and unforgettable images of our beloved Papa. God bless them! The bells ringing are very beautiful and very emotional.
    Thank you Lord Jesus for having gifted us with the precious persona of our beloved Papa Benedict.

  4. Thank you, Holy Father, for your faithful witness and undying Faith.

    You did well, faithful servant.

  5. Final tweet received:

    @Pontifex: Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the centre of your lives.

  6. Hidden One says:

    Pope Benedict the Great, for a couple more hours.

  7. ckdexterhaven says:

    I had tears in my eyes. I wish the commentator lady on EWTN would have done a little less talking, especially when the bells started ringing.

  8. wanda says:

    Thank you Holy Father. Amid our tears we are thankful to Almighty God for the blessing of your Pontificate. Rest well, good and faithful servant. How we will miss you.

    Thank you Father Z. for all the reporting on our Holy Father.

  9. APX says:

    I thought he wasn’t leaving until 8 pm Rome time?

  10. Faith says:

    I bet he’s saying, “Thank God, I didn’t die chained to my desk.” Now he can get some serious prayer and writing time done. Have a grace-fulled retirement Pope Emeritus. Thank you for a job well done.

  11. Watching the Holy Father leaving to ascend the mountain of the Lord was even more sad due to the fact that I heard this morning that my beloved bishop will leaving us to be the vicar to our new Patriarch Neopyte of Bulgaria. It is always so hard to take leave of those whom you love in the Love of Christ.

  12. Supertradmum says:

    When the helicopter flew over the Colosseum, I was really moved.

    And his little talk at Castel Gandolfo was so moving as well.

    We are all pilgrims

  13. Mariana says:

    Watching this teary-eyed on Radio Vaticana…

  14. jesusthroughmary says:

    APX, he is Pope until 8 pm Rome time.

  15. Lucas says:

    I missed the last blessing, is there video of it somewhere?

  16. Stumbler but trying says:

    Yes, we are all pilgrims as we make our way up the mountain. May our Holy Father’s retirement be filled with many days of peace and good health and fruitful prayer while in the bosom of the Lord.
    Thank you Fr. Z for the many images you have shared with us.

  17. mamajen says:

    I support him in his decision, but it is so sad to see all this. I’m remembering how hard it was for me to leave employment when I decided to be a stay at home mom. I can only imagine how difficult it is for him to leave the papacy, and how strange the adjustment will be for him (and everyone else!).

  18. Clinton says:

    God bless him.

    His most recent encyclical, one on faith, is almost complete. It was to be released later this
    year– but now I have no idea if we shall see it. I hope the Holy Father’s successor publishes
    it as an act of piety for his predecessor.

  19. Torpedo1 says:

    I watched the coverage on EWTN and I’m very sad today. I support our Holy Father in his decision, but I’m still sad. I’ve been praying on and off this morning. i’m really sick right now with some sort of nasty cold and so I’ve prayed whenever I’m awake. I’m offering my current sufferings up for the Holy Father and his successor. God bless you Papa, I’ll miss you.

  20. Gratias says:

    Wonderful memories. Please keep our Pope Benedict in your prayers. He set the Church in a new direction with Summorum Pontificum. Vielen Dank Heilige Vater.

  21. priests wife says:

    I wish him many more blessed years in health and happiness- I’m sure that his prayers will be powerful in helping the conclave (I am hoping for Pope Giuseppe I)

  22. NBW says:

    I also thought he was leaving at 8pm. Rome time. I missed all of this.

    God Bless Pope Benedict XVI!

  23. Darren says:


    He is no longer Pope after 8 PM Rome time. He just left the Vatican for Castel Gandolfo earlier today, but remains Pope.

  24. majuscule says:

    I am sad that he is leaving but joyful that he is still here among us, praying and writing.

  25. kyle says:

    This is all very emotional for me. As a convert at Easter 2004 I have very much come into my Catholic faith while Benedict was in the chair of St Peter. I feel quite a personal connection with him and will miss him. May God bless him.

  26. Athelstan says:

    Thank you for posting these, Fr. Z.

  27. Supertradmum says:

    Fr. Z., you will have to change your banner… goodness.

  28. Laura98 says:

    Thank you for posting these images Fr. Z. Though, they bring tears to my eyes. I will miss Pope Benedict XVI… He has been such a blessing for the Church. I know, he will continue to be a blessing, but still…. :( I will miss him.

  29. pmullane says:

    Thank you Holy Father.

    Thank you lord for the gift of Joseph Ratzinger, through whom you have brought us closer to you.

    Thank you lord for the gift of Benedict XVI, a humble worker in your vineyard, who did not flee for fear of the wolves.

    Thank you Lord for holy priests, especially Fr Zuhlsdorf.

  30. Jim of Bowie says:

    I teared up when the helecopter lifted off and the bells rang and when he gave his final apostolic blessing at Castel Gandolfo. I will miss him so very much.

    By the way, EWTN will rebroadcast the departure and arrival at Castel Gandolfo at 3 pm eastern time.

  31. Jean Marie says:

    God bless this great and holy man!

  32. Jim of Bowie says:

    Oops 3:30 pm

  33. Supertradmum says:

    You can watch the Swiss Guard leave in a bit here.

  34. FloridaJoan says:

    Father Z:

    The final pic of our beloved Pope made me cry with tears of fondness for him and his faithful shepherding of Christ’s sheep. He will always be in my prayers. And, now , prayers to the Holy Spirit for the upcoming conclave.

    pax et bonum

  35. oldcanon2257 says:

    Sede vacante now…

    I’m feeling so sad and teary-eyed.

    May Our Lord always watch over and protect his faithful servant Benedict XVI.

  36. GregH says:

    The See is Vacant!!! No!!!!!!!

  37. acardnal says:

    Holy Father, thank you very much for Summorum Pontificum.

    The Church and the world will miss your tremendous intellect and charity.

  38. Paulo says:

    Sede vacante

  39. Supertradmum says:

    The three local police in their uniforms are just not as colourful as the Swiss Guards, but they look huge.

  40. Jim says:

    We have no Pope. Feels like I have lost my father. :(

  41. Stumbler but trying says:

    Sede vacante: the See of Rome is Vacant …what to say but to hope and to pray.

  42. mrsmontoya says:

    Thank you.

  43. Gus Barbarigo says:

    This whole thing is surreal. Almost like a Hollywood movie that I wish were never made.

    On one level, there is something angelic to the Pope Emeritus’ gliding over Rome in a white helicopter. (I will have to get used to that phrase, “Pope Emeritus”!)

    May the “better angels” sway the electors in the upcoming conclave, and preserve the Pope Emeritus from harm!

  44. StJude says:

    Wow. the chair is vacant.

    May God bless our Pope Emeritus.

  45. Mitchell NY says:

    : (

  46. I really hate “good-bye” and any sort of ending makes me tearful.

    That said, so much of this reminds me of The Prisoner, especially now the departure by helicopter (one of only two ways to escape the Village). I just hope there isn’t a place where retired popes are taken to be grilled about why they resigned.

  47. Nan says:

    @Supertradmum, it isn’t like the presidency so he doesn’t get a contingent of Swiss Guards in lieu of secret service, just the regular old Vatican cops on security detail. I’m glad they recognize his preciousness and have security assigned.

  48. Giuseppe says:

    I do not think we see him again until his funeral. He looked so old and frail in these videos – he has aged about 5 years since Christmas. I suspect he will be spending most of his waking hours in prayer. The man who added the the crucifix to the versus populum altar (which single-handedly made more reverent the OF mass I sometimes attend) will soon see Christ face-to-face. And nothing will make him happier.

  49. jhayes says:

    “The three local police in their uniforms are just not as colourful as the Swiss Guards, but they look huge.”

    I think I have read that they are from the Vatican Gendarmerie, not the Italian police.

  50. JonPatrick says:

    Interesting, that the Vatican has its own Gendarmerie, besides the Swiss Guards. I assume they are the equivalent of the regular police force for the Vatican.

    The helicopter and its crew though seem to be from the Italian Air Force.

    Always been fascinated by the Vatican as its own little country. Sort of reminds me of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick in “the Mouse that Roared” ( I wonder how many remember that book from the 1950’s).

  51. Angie Mcs says:

    Since I don’t have cable at home, I was so grateful that I was able to watch EWTN at my daughter’s house. These photos will be wonderful reminders of the day’s special moments.Thank you, Father, for posting them.

    It was so refreshing to watch the events unfold in a respectful and straightforward way on EWTN, without the innuendo and ignorance from the mainstream media. I could watch, listen and open my heart to His Holiness’ last hours as he was given the love and respect he deserves. I do agree with ” ckdexterhaven” that the woman moderator talked too much: “Oh my Goodness etc” during the astounding ringing of the bells. It would have been nice to hear them uninterrupted, but otherwise I felt it was well covered. The Pope’s last few words in Castelgondolfo were simple and loving, a sign of how he now wants to live his life.

    We can all see the frailty of the man but the comforting thoughts also went through my mind.: that he will see Christ soon and with great joy. During this Lenten season, let us all be reminded of our needs to get to that place within ourselves. Let us consider the examples in everything he has done, his parting gift to us all.

  52. digitalcatholic says:

    I was totally blown away by the breadth of CTV’s coverage. The proximity of the cameras to the holy father, the aerial coverage, the multiple switching between sites; all of it worthy of a significant hat-tip. This is an important component of the new evangelization and staking a claim on the frontier of the digital continent: realizing that the court of the Gentiles is watching and giving them beauty and substance in a captivating manner. At the same time, one must allow the Catholic viewer a certain “virtual” closeness to the pope, combined with providing a warmth and pride through the images presented that give witness to our participation in a mystical body oh-so-much bigger than any individual. Well done Vatican TV! The world watched and it was beautiful.

  53. joan ellen says:

    I cannot thank God enough for the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. But thank you God.

    Fr. Z, I cannot thank you enough for the images. But thank you Fr. Z.

  54. Kathleen10 says:

    I couldn’t watch it. It’s too sad. May God bless him and give him comfort and consolation. He did everything for the good of God’s church and his people. Thank you, Holy Father.

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