Such a statement he made himself in Latin, speaking on February 11 at a ceremony of canonization of the martyrs of Otranto. He explained making his decision by health concerns.
The Pope will leave his post on February 28.
Vatican press office confirmed the decision of the pontiff to the French journalists.
Benedict XVI was elected the Pope in 2005. He became the 265th Pope and the most senior, since Pope Clement XII, elected in 1730.
The last pope to resign was Pope Gregory XII, who stepped down in 1415.
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