You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Nation

Applause, tears as pope offers last public Mass

Benedict thanks supporters for prayers, support

VATICAN CITY — With a humble ‘‘Grazie’’ as bishops doffed their mitres and applause echoed through St. ­Peter’s Basilica, a frail Pope Benedict XVI began his long farewell by presiding over Ash Wednesday services in a tearful, final public Mass.

‘‘We wouldn’t be sincere, Your Holiness, if we didn’t tell you that there’s a veil of sadness on our hearts this evening,’’ said Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Benedict’s longtime deputy, his voice breaking.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week