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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Wednesday morning at 6:27 ET, retiring Pope Benedict XVI sent out a tweet which read, "If only everyone could experience the joy of being Christian, being loved by God who gave his Son for us!"

Earlier in the morning, Pope Benedict XVI recalled moments of "joy and light" during his papacy in his final public address in St. Peter's Square, reports CBS News. He told the crowd that gathered for him that there had also been difficult moments as well.

Benedict took avictory lap around the square in an open-sided car and stopped to kiss and bless half a dozen children handed to him by his secretary.

His final address was described as "personal" with thanks to the crowd who showed up and skipping histypical professorial Wednesday catechism lesson.

He received a standing ovation from the tens of thousands of people at the end of his address.

Benedict is the first pope in 600 years to resign.