Pope Benedict XVI tweeted his final message on microblogging site Twitter, thanking his followers for their love and support, just before leaving the Vatican today, his final day as pontiff.
“Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the centre of your lives,” the tweet on the Pope’s @Pontifex account reads.
Like his prior tweets, the pope’s last message has been issued in nine languages, across his various Twitter accounts.
Pope Benedict XVI, who announced his resignation earlier this month, citing his age (he’s 85) and frail health, flew off in a white helicopter to Castel Gandolfo, the papal retreat, as church bells rang across Rome, ABC News reported.
The pope’s Twitter account is to now be suspended until his successor is elected, but it will be up to the new pontiff whether or not to continue using the account.
Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation takes effect at 8pm (7pm) today.