Several churches in the Catholic Diocese of Venice, Florida are honoring Pope Benedict is his final days before retirement.
On Wednesday, words of thanks filled St. John the Evangelist Church in Naples.
Father John Ludden and his parishioners said prayers for Pope Benedict who announced his resignation earlier this month, saying he wasn't mentally or physically strong enough anymore to lead more than a billion Catholics worldwide.
" I think the Pope's realization that he's grown weaker and his choice to step down from the church was very courageous and a great act of humility." Fr. John Ludden said.
It is a historic event members never though they'd see in their lifetime. A pope hasn't resigned in nearly 600 years. But, members said they're proud Pope Benedict is doing what is best for the church.
"He is frail and he needs someone that's a little stronger to carry on before it is too late." Roger Ruggieri said.
While it is uncertain who will take over, members said they want a Pope who will move the Church forward.
" Be strong, be good and realize that we're in a difficult world and its not easy for people." Janice Ruggieri said.
"The way the situation is with the Catholic churches today, I think they have to get someone who is strong and that can adjust to the new ways of life." Richard Ruggieri said.
But, they'll never forget Pope Benedict's legacy.
"His outreach to the world and his commitment to peace has been really something he'll go down in history for." Fr. Ludden said.