Ain't this the global shocker of the year.
Pope Benedict XVI' s decision to resign earlier this month, due to his deteriorating health caused by old age, took everyone by surprise. The 85-year-old pope is due to step down on February 28, at 8 p.m. (that's March 1, at 3 a.m. Manila time), becoming the first pontiff to relinquish his duties in over 600 years (the last one to do so was Pope Gregory XII in 1415).
His resignation however indicates that the Papacy will be vacant until the Vatican holds a conclave to elect a new pope. And among the papal contenders, Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson is emerging as a front-runner to become the first black Pope. After his resignation, Pope Benedict XVI will be given the title of "Pope Emeritus" and will still be referred to as "Your Holiness."
But before we bid him arrivederci, we cite some of Pope Benedict XVI's awesome and not-so-awesome (to some) moments during his seven-year tenure as santo papa.
Awesome: The cannonization of our very own San Pedro Calungsod
Pope Benedict XVI canonized altar boy turned missionary Pedro Calungsod as a saint last October 2012, which brought Filipino Catholics together. A Pope's influence and pleasing charisma never fail to put Filipino's hearts and hands together. This particular however also gave us prayers and comforting words during some of our weaker moments (i.e. natural calamities).