BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his last public Mass as Pontiff Wednesday two days after he announced his resignation.
The Pope presided over an Ash Wednesday Mass at Saint Peter's Basilica where a crowd of thousands gathered. That crowd was due to the fact that the Pope recently announced he is retiring on February 28th. That decision has surprised several catholics like Marquette Nadeau who attended Mass at St. Mary's Church in Bangor Wednesday.
"I admire him for doing that because it's a very big decision to make," said Nadeau.
The announcement comes after the Pope's health has been steadily declining over the past year. Tuesday morning Benedict addressed huge crowds at the Vatican saying that he no longer has the strength to carry on with his position.
Already several are speculating about who will take the Popes place. Predictions that disappoint Father Seamus Griesbach with St. John's Church in Bangor.
"We have to be careful that we don't just kind of forget this man that gave so much of his life to the church," said Father Griesbach.
According to the Vatican press office, the 85-year-old Benedict will keep working until February 28, meeting with pastors from Rome, Italian bishops and visiting presidents from several countries.