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Pope Benedict XVI waves from the balcony window of the Pontifical summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, some 35 kilometers south of Rome, to a cheering crowd gathered to see him the day he ends his pontificate, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

Pope, in final message, says he's a simple pilgrim

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (AP) -- Benedict XVI greeted the faithful for the last time as pope on Thursday, telling tearful well-wishers that he is beginning the final stage of his life as "simply a pilgrim," hours before he becomes the first pontiff in 600 years to resign.

By NICOLE WINFIELD and FRANCES D'EMILIO

Associated Press

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