A long banner with a picture of a waving Pope Benedict XVI hangs from an iron fence outside St. Patrick's Catholic Church, one of the oldest in New Orleans, where traditions like Mardi Gras stem from Catholic roots.
But not everyone was supportive of his decision to step down.
"You can't help but feel emotional today, and maybe a little concerned," said Manolito Martinez, 42, who has attended St. Patrick's since childhood and now serves as the maintenance supervisor. "We're in peril times, with all these allegations, and my opinion is he should have endured this position until the end."
On a receiving table just inside the church, the faithful were invited to take prayer cards with a picture of the resigning pope. The prayer on the reverse side included a note of thanks and hope for the Church's next leader.
— Stacey Plaisance
"Pope Live" follows the events of the final day of Pope Benedict XVI's papacy as seen by journalists from The Associated Press around the world. It will be updated throughout the day with breaking news and other items of interest. Follow AP reporters on Twitter where available